Tiahuanaco Travel Guide

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Tiahuanaco or Tiawanacu or what ever spelling one can resort to is the premier archaeological site in Bolivia. The visitor immediately realises this by the staggering for Bolivia 10USD entrance fee. However, the money seems to be well spent. There is a bran new section of the adjacent museum with beautiful display of many stone statues and crowned with the mysteriously presented Pachamama.

There are many attempts to compare Bolivia and Peru in what they have to offer in the realm of ancient architecture and history. The comparison is usually won by Peru with the many “Inca” sites around Cuzco , the Sacred Valley and beyond. Loaded with similar preconception, the visitor is pleasantly surprised to discover that Tiahuanaco has much more preserved statues to display than the “Inca” museum in Cuzco.

The interpretation of history comes next. As always it is being used for satisfaction of national needs. In Bolivia ’s Tiahuanaco , the Incas are mentioned fleetingly, and the emphasis is placed on them being the secondary culture, imposed forcibly on the poor tiahuanacans. What exactly they did or did not do in Tiahuanacu is very important form the point of view that all the huge stone work is supposedly Inca in nature. This is not abundantly clear in Tiahuanacu and why would it be if Aymara is the heir and dominant group in Lake Titicaca area and Quechua is centered mainly on Cuzco . The megaliths in one of the opened-up pits of the site are larger than anything around Cuzco and curiously enough have the same “male-female” joints like in Ollantaytambo or Machu Picchu . Yes, indeed, everybody agrees that the Inca were in Tiahuanaco but the ruins have lost their Inca branding. What a pity!?! 


November 06, 2006 change by giorgio

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