Puma Punku; a Mystery That May Be Greater Than the Pyramids

Puma Punku; a Mystery That May Be Greater Than the Pyramids

Pumapunku, also spelled Puma Punku, is the remains of a holy site in the jungles of Bolivia that has attracted much attention as of late. The name means “door of the puma,” and as far as archaeologists know, Puma Punku was a thriving, ancient town originating somewhere around 500 and 600 C.E.

Here we are, a century-and-a-half later, and irrepressible rumors continue to grow that Puma Punku’s massively heavy stone block structures were cut so precisely that highly advanced, ancient technology seems to be the only explanation for their craftsmanship.

Located 45 miles west of the modern-day city of La Paz, Puma Punku is situated in the still-thriving city of Tiwanaku, high upon a desert plateau of the Andes Mountains, at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet. Tiwanaku is significant in Inca traditions, the place where it was once believed the world was created.

In this isolated part of the world stand amazing smooth stone structures featuring precision-made cuts, clean right angles, and expertly fitted joints. The megaliths are among the largest on earth, with some weighing several tons. While many of the structures are still standing centuries after their inhabitants disappeared, most of the buildings are scattered and broken around the area, leaving researchers to wonder what possibly could have tossed around impossibly heavy buildings.

Graham Banner

Modern Technology Facilitates Puma Punku Reconstruction

Until recently, due to the condition and placement of so many stones laid strewn across the landscape, there was really no way of “seeing” what Puma Punku may have looked like during its peak. Owing to the work of University of California – Berkeley researchers, Puma Punku mapping has brought the ancient archaeological site into perspective.

Using historical data, 3-D-printed pieces, and architectural software, Berkeley archaeologist Alexei Vranich’s virtual reconstruction of Puma Punku provides a glimpse into the structure’s original appearance. 

Vranich said the ruins were reminiscent of a giant Lego set, and he said, “We attempted to capitalize on archaeologists’ learned ability to visualize and mentally rotate irregular objects in space by providing them with 3-D printed objects that they could physically manipulate.”

Were the Monuments Beyond the Capability of Human Beings?

Gizmodo notes that Puma Punku was an advanced Andean architectural achievement. “Spanish Conquistadors and others who visited the site during the 16th and 17th centuries described it as a ‘wondrous, though unfinished, building with gateways and windows carved from single blocks.’

Pumapunku displayed a level of craftsmanship that was largely unparalleled in the pre-Columbian New World, and it’s often considered the architectural peak of Andean lithic technology prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Even today, the stonework of the temple is considered so precise that ancient alien enthusiasts claim it was made by lasers and other extraterrestrial technologies.”

David Childress, the author of Lost Cities and Ancient Mysteries of South America, noted that the massive chunks of granite were seemingly scattered around like children’s toy blocks as if a giant cataclysm laid waste to Puma Punku in one fell swoop. Archaeologists are baffled by what Puma Punku was and how it looked, said Childress. The purpose of the enormous structures has yet to be explained.

identical figured blocks of puma punku ruins tiwanaku

Precisely cut H-shaped blocks at Puma Punku


One fact that is undeniable, however, is that the entire region and its people were important in the ancient world of South America. Theirs was the dominant culture of the Lake Titicaca basin, with an empire covering vast amounts of area in present-day Bolivia, Peru, and Chile.

Just after World War II, Austrian archaeologist Arthur Posnansky had a hypothesis that was far ahead of his time. His writings about the Puma Punku stones in Tiwanaku have been kept alive by Graham Hancock and other writers who defer to Posnansky’s dating of the site to support their theories.

Posnansky, who worked at the site for decades, estimated that Puma Punku was far older than academics surmised. By examining the ruins and their relationship to the stars, the archaeologist dated the ruins to be an astounding 15,000 years old. 

As with so many areas featuring crafted structures of such weight and size — some of which are more than 20 feet tall and tens of thousands of pounds — skeptics of academic conclusions begin with the same questions: “How were these structures built, and who really built them?”

And the question remains how primitive people could have created smooth and flawless right angles and circular holes in Puma Punku stones with crude hammers and chisels. Even today, the fashioning of these megaliths can only be accomplished with advanced diamond-tipped saws and drill bits. Were there Puma Punku ancient aliens whose technology remains ignored?

Skeptical Logic Has Not Solved the Mystery

Some skeptics claim that the alien theory is nonsense, leaving Puma Punku debunked. Skeptic Brian Dunning, the host of the Skeptoid podcast, described the site’s row of H-shaped blocks that have approximately 80 faces on them; and all matching each other with great precision. These stones, he wrote, suggest prefabrication not found at the other Tiwanaku sites. “In addition, some of the stones were held together with copper fasteners, some of which were cold hammered into shape, and others that were poured into place molten.” 

Dunning applied logic to the mystery, suggesting that perhaps the Puma Punku blocks were not chiseled, but rather poured using concrete or some such similar material. However, no evidence has thus far supported the poured concrete theory.

Overall, argues Dunning, Puma Punku may not be a fantastic feat too great for humankind. He points out that the Greek Parthenon was built a thousand years before Puma Punku, “and yet nobody invokes aliens as the only explanation for its great beauty and decorative detailing that more than rivals Pumapunku’s angles and cuts.”

Regardless of the opinions of skeptics, the Puma Punku mystery persists, because no scientist to date has given a probable explanation for the buildings and how they were constructed.

No Closer to Solving the Puma Punku Mystery

While the site of Puma Punku in Western Bolivia remains a crowning achievement of Andean architecture, and it rivals sites found around the world, scientists have very few answers regarding the most basic questions of who, what, when, and why. Modern archaeologists are not about to entertain the idea of using lasers, ancient alien visitations, or otherworldly means of transporting blocks of stone for miles without any mechanized vehicles. So where does this leave us? 

We may add one more possible clue to this story. The mummies of Puma Punku, preserved on one of the Tiwanaku’s most sacred sites, provide evidence that all members of society — from infants to the elderly — regularly used psychoactive, hallucinogenic plants. It remains to be shown whether their forays into other dimensions offered these early people a special insight into how to create their megaliths or even how to contact beings who could teach them advanced methodologies.

New Study of Cave Paintings Say Ancient Man Understood Astronomy

New Study of Cave Paintings Say Ancient Man Understood Astronomy

A reinterpretation of one of the world’s most famous primitive cave paintings seems to show our ancient ancestors had a much stronger grasp on astronomy than we’ve given them credit. According to a recent study, cave paintings in France depict animals that represent the constellations, showing the artists who drew them were aware of the precession of the equinoxes — a discovery not thought to have been made before Hipparchus of Ancient Greece.

Of the paintings in question, researchers Martin Sweatman, Ph.D., and Alistar Coombs studied an image titled, “The Shaft,” which portrays a collapsing bird-headed man, a bison eviscerated by a spear, a horse, and a rhinoceros in the Lascaux caves of southern France’s Dordogne region.

In the past, this scene was interpreted as a shamanic ceremony or the scene of a hunt, however the exact meaning has been widely disputed as depictions of men were incredibly uncommon in this era. But according to Sweatman and Coombs’ latest study, the paintings show not only a more primordial understanding of astronomy, but also religion, science, and mathematics.

By comparing radiocarbon dating of paint samples to the position of constellations in the sky when the art was created, the researchers were able to match specific animals with correlating constellations of the solstice and equinox. They used this same method at similar archeological sites, including the ruins of Göbekli Tepe and Catalhöyük, as well as the famous cave art of Chauvet and Altamira.

The two also said they believe the Lascaux paintings commemorate a comet striking Earth, correlating with what they believe to be the cataclysmic impact event that marked the beginning of the Younger Dryas period – evidence of which was recently found in the form of a 19-mile wide crater beneath a Greenland ice sheet.

In addition to these sites, the researchers incorporated the Lion-man figurine from the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in Germany, which dates back 38 thousand BCE and is considered to be the world’s oldest sculpture – they believe it too, may be evidence of zodiacal awareness. Their study was published in the Athens Journal of History.

Like any bold claim made of early humans which challenges long-held archeological timelines, this latest theory has unsurprisingly sparked controversy with some of Sweatman and Coombs’ colleagues who have labeled their method flawed.

According to their model, prehistoric men from the Stone Age discovered the precession of the equinoxes some 36 thousand years before Hipparchus – a bold claim to say the least!

But findings such as this seem to continually piece together disparate pieces of a puzzle that modern archeology has glossed over or ignored entirely. And as Graham Hancock likes to say upon the discovery of new paradigms like this may be, “things just keep getting older.”


For more on the anomalous archeological finds cluing us into our forgotten past, check out this episode of Disclosure with Graham Hancock:

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