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This same sort of feeling is what motivated Arthur Posnansky, a German-Bolivian scholar, to exhaustively study Tiahuanaco for almost fifty years.

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The excavated central part of the city is relatively small and one can walk across it in fifteen minutes.Additionally, there are not a large number of structures to be seen, because so much has been stolen and carted away over the centuries.Stela 8 with Gateway of the Sun in background, Kalasasaya temple, Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) Early in January of 1998, I bought an old Volkswagen van and began a long drive to the lower reaches of South America.Over the next year, rambling 22,000 miles on rough mountain roads and muddy jungle tracks, I visited and photographed more than 150 sacred sites and power places in fourteen different countries.Twelve miles from the coast of the sacred Lake of Titicaca, Tiahuanaco was the source of the creation myths, the social order, and the extraordinary preoccupation with astronomy that underwrote thousands of years of Andean culture.

Yet, for all its importance, Tiahuanaco remains an enigma.The next thing I observed was that the site appeared to be much, much older than the primary construction and habitation period postulated in orthodox archaeology theory.This conventional theory assumes that the civilization that spawned Tiahuanaco arose around 600 BC and fell into decline sometime soon after 1000 AD.The orientation of the site was different too; it had a most unusual style.It seemed to have been designed and crafted by a people with artistic, scientific and philosophic sensibilities distinctly different than that of other pre-Columbian cultures.Yet, something about this relatively recent dating didn’t fit with my impression of the place.