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Along the Ancient Shores of Lake Titicaca

The original port of Tiwanaku was built on the shores of Lake Titicaca less then 600 feet away, but whose coastline now lies some 12 miles away. Scholars including Arthur Posansky, Becker, Kohlschutter, Muller and Hancock have concluded from astronomical investigations of the ecliptic, that the site may well have been constructed as far back as 12,000 BC making Tiwanaku one of the oldest city temples on the planet, if not the oldest.
The elite of Tiwanaku lived inside four walls that were surrounded by a moat. This moat, some believe, was to create the image of a sacred island. Inside the walls there were many images of human origin that only the elites were privileged to view, despite the fact that images represent the beginning of all humanity, not only the elite. Commoners may have entered this structure for ceremonial purposes since it was home to the holiest of shrines. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku used politics to create colonies, negotiate trade agreements (which made the other cultures rather dependent), and establish state cults. Many others were drawn into the Tiwanaku empire due to religious beliefs as Tiwanaku never ceased being a religious center.