Pumapunku is a terraced earthen mound, faced with blocks and an important part of the Tiwanaku archaeological site on the Bolivian Altiplano. It has unique architectural features including the use of building blocks with up to 80 faces on them. The Tiwanaku site is pre-Inca and has given its earliest radiocarbon date as 536-600 BC and was in use until circa 1000 AD(a), which is a far cry from the flawed 12,000-15,000 BC date claimed by Posnansky(e)(f).
As with so many other enigmatic ancient sites, various members of the ‘lunatic fringe’ have attributed the construction at these location to either ancient astronauts or atlanteans or an exotic combination of both, based on either over fertilised imaginations or flawed data or again, both. Jason Colavito has written a critique of some of the more silly suggestions(b).
Ancient astronaut advocate Von Däniken[1147.221] and Brien Foerester(d) among others, have claimed that the stones of Pumapunku were composed of diorite, an exceptionally hard stone, which would have required a modern diamond-tipped drill to work it. The implication being that only Atlanteans with their advanced technology or extraterrestrials could have worked the stone with such precision.
However, Colavito and Michael Heiser(c) have pointed out that this identification is untrue and that in fact they were composed of the softer andesite and red sandstone. Apart from which, the Code of Hammurabi was incised on diorite, without Atlantean or extraterrestrial assistance, 2,000 years before the development of Pumapunku!
Javier Escalante Moscoso is an architect with a degree in archaeology who has extensively excavated and surveyed the Tiwanaku monuments.(see map above).
Tony Morrison is probably best known for his definitive work on the Nazca Lines, Pathways to the Gods. Tony and Marion Morrison have developed the South American Pictures.com website in order to show their extensive life-work. Unfortunately, the southamericanpictures website went offline but now, many of the image collections have been reassembled and are again available online(b).
In 1998 Morrison published a number of papers provocatively entitled The Bolivian Atlantis(b-e). They cover familiar territory – Tiwanaku, Pumapunku, Posnansky, Bellamy, Fawcett, Sykes, Blashford-Snell. This was the same year that Jim Allen published his Atlantis: The Andes Solution. Had Allen not done so, I suspect that Morrison might have produced a more detailed book himself as apparently he and a colleague, Mark Howell, had built up quite a dossier on the subject.
Surprisingly, Morrison did not mention the mysterious puquios of the Nazca region(f), which, with the aid of satellite imagery(g), have been shown to have been part of a sophisticated hydraulic system that supplied water to an extremely arid locality.