Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco)

Jo Ellen Burkholder

In: Encyclopedia of Anthropology

Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco)

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  • Tiwanaku (also called Tiahuanaco) was a state-level society centered in the southern Lake Titicaca Basin of South America. The exact dates for this civilization are an issue of contention, but most archaeologists agree that the peak of Tiwanaku cultural expansion occurred between the8th and 10th centuries AD. The civilization saw considerable change, including a breakdown of centralized political control, after about AD1000. The capital site of Tiwanaku was mentioned in versions of Inca tradition as the place where the world was created, the original home of the Inca lords, and the birthplace of Inca kings, and the site was in continual use through Spanish colonial times.

    The capital and type-site for the Tiwanaku culture is located roughly 20 kilometers from the southern end of Lake Titicaca ...

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