By Sharon St Joan
One of the strangest ancient sites in the world, Pumapunko, lies near Tiwanaku, the archeological site in Bolivia, south of Lake Titicaca, on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The site is less than a mile from Kalasasaya, a huge paved courtyard surrounded by a wall that is part of Tiwanaku which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.
Pumapunko is a large earthen mound about 500 feet wide (167 meters) and about 350 feet in length (116 feet). What can be seen today is the remaining giant stones, some of which still lie scattered helter-skelter along the ground, and some of which have been lined up by archeological excavators in long rows.
Radiocarbon dating of the mound-fill underneath the stonework has placed the first construction at the site to around 536 – 600 CE, but some researchers believe that Pumapunko is much, much older. The dating of nearby Tiwanaku is also a matter of considerable controversy.
The most remarkable and strangest feature of Pumapunko is the extremely precise way in which some of the stones were cut, which suggests that they were shaped by a technologically advanced civilization using modern machine tools. Many of the corners, both outer and inner corners, have been broken over time, but the extraordinary perfect flatness of the stones’ surface can be clearly seen.
There are rows of what are called H blocks. Massive stones shaped like the letter H. The surface of the stones is absolutely flat and smooth, cut to a tolerance of three 10,000th of an inch. The corners are precise right angles, with further right-angled rectangles indented inside the outside shapes, and even more rectangles inside those – not something that seems possible to do with a hammer and chisel.
Cut into some of the stones so that they may be joined together are dovetail holes, with the inside of each indentation larger than the outside, so that the stones can be locked into place.
In a YouTube video (the link is given below) Brien Foerster walks along a low wall uncovered during a recent excavation done in 2012. Among many sandstone rocks in the wall which are roughly shaped or natural are placed a few very hard gray andesite rocks, which stand out because of their very precisely cut, sharp lines. These andesite stones appear to have been recycled from earlier structures, perhaps from thousands of years ago. The sandstone rocks are primitively shaped, but the andesite rocks were made by someone else who possessed very advanced technology. Some of the remarkable H stones can also be seen in the video.
The site is vast, with a huge array of amazing structures, at an altitude of 13,000 feet. It resembles nothing else on earth, and it is not easy to imagine who might have built it, or for what purpose.
It has been suggested by some investigators that the stones must have been melted in some way and then formed in a mold; however, Brien Foerster points out that each stone is unique with slightly different measurements so they could not have been shaped in a mold.
The largest foundation stone is not andesite, but red sandstone, which weighs 131 tons. It was moved uphill to the site from a quarry several miles away, but no one knows how. It could not have been rolled on logs because there are no trees here at this altitude.
There are virtually no inscriptions on the precisely-cut stones. This absence of inscriptions is odd. One finds the same lack of inscriptions on the oldest sites in Egypt. Author John Anthony West has pointed out that some of the great monuments of Egypt – the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and the nearby Sphinx temple, and the Osiris Temple at Abydos – appear to be many thousands of years older than the Egyptian fourth dynasty – and that, remarkably, they also do not bear inscriptions – a stark contrast to the other Egyptian tombs and temples in which every available inch tends to be filled with images and hieroglyphs.
Who built this extraordinary site, Puma Punko? Who built it, when, and for what purpose? No one knows. Ancient alien enthusiasts, predictably, attribute its building to ancient aliens. Others say it was constructed by very technologically advanced ancient humans – more advanced than ourselves, and that human civilization has been devolving, not evolving, since that time. Still others suggest that the ancient aliens and the ancient humans were one and the same, and that our species originally came from the stars. Others assure us that there is certainly no mystery at all, and that it is all easily explainable, though they do not have the exact explanation just yet. And others just laugh.
Whoever the builders were, what does seem indisputable is that there is a piece missing in our view of history. There are some things we cannot account for. Pumapunko is not the only mysterious megalithic site. The entire globe is peppered with them, and for the most part, we have no satisfactory explanation to account for them. Pumapunko is one of the strangest of all, but the more one looks at the others, the more puzzled one becomes.
Archeologists struggle to explain how theses enormous megalithic structures could have been built using the primitive tools and the limited knowledge that we attribute to early peoples.
When the history of our species is missing giant gaps, as it seems to be, we need to acknowledge that there is much that we do not know. The history of our world is filled with mysteries that we have not yet even begun to understand.
© Sharon St Joan, 2014
To see Sharon St Joan’s ebook, Glimpses of Kanchi, click here.
To view Brien Foerster’s video of Pumapunko, click here.
Top photo: Janikorpi / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / A view of some of the stone blocks at Pumapunko.
Second photo: Photo: Brattarb / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / One of the enigmatic stones at Pumapunko.
Third photo: Mattcorbitt / Wikimedia Commons / “This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Mattcorbitt. This applies worldwide.” / A stone with a precise straight line and machined holes within the line.
Fourth photo: Brattarb / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / More precisely cut stones. Weathering has broken some of the corners.