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Ancient Faith… Beneath The Lake

An ancient form of religious practices… not many people have much idea about it!
The archaeologists recently discovered this 1200-year-old mysterious religion from Lake Titicaca. Titicaca – straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia in the Andes Mountains – is one of South America’s largest lakes and the world’s highest navigable body of water. Said to be the birthplace of the Incas, it’s home to numerous ruins…


Lake Titicaca

Archaeologists had claimed to have found various items beneath this lake in 2013. Now, they have discovered the existence of an ancient religious practice, after examining gold, various metals and precious stones, which were found six years ago. They further claimed that they had found those materials in Peru’s Island of the Sun, situated near the southern end of Titicaca. The religion supposedly existed before the expansion of Spanish Empire in Tiwanaku, a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, and one of the largest sites in Latin America. Some historians believe that the Tiwanaku culture had given birth to a special religious practice that was abided by people from AD 500 to AD 900.
Meanwhile, the archaeologists revealed that they had found some artefacts from the site known as Khoa reef. Those artefacts include two gold medallions that (most probably) represent Tiwanaku’s ray-faced deity and metal plaques that portray a mythical puma-llama hybrid. Divers further recovered the remains of real animals, including the bones of at least three young sacrificed llamas!


Artefacts

Questions naturally arise as to why would those worshipers of Tiwanaku leave these valuable materials behind in the high Andes lake?
Researchers are of the opinion that they did so as an evidence that the religious traditions had enriched the Tiwanaku culture! According to researchers, the local followers of the ‘new’ religion built those medallions 1200 years ago. As per their religious practice, good behaviour makes people immortal and the God punishes those who behave badly with others. Preachers of this ancient religion used to travel a lot in order to educate people. Talking to the local media in La Paz, senior anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Penn State University José M Capriles said that preachers used to inform the followers of this religion about political and social customs as a part of their teachings.


Island of the Sun

Unfortunately, the Spanish invaders destroyed the Tiwanaku culture in AD 1000. Paul Goldstein – an archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at UC San Diego – stressed that the Spanish culture had gradually replaced the Tiwanaku culture, adding: “The Tiwanaku is the greatest Native American empire that many Americans have never heard of. Every time we find something that reflects the complexity of the society, it adds to our deeper knowledge of the origins of complex societies worldwide.


City of God

Researchers also collected evidences of the existence of nearly 100 villages in Tiwanaku. The local people used to consider Tiwanaku as the City of God! Meanwhile, a section of historians has expressed doubt over the existence of a ‘new’ religion. They believe that it might be a branch of any other major religion. Whatever may be… Capriles has opined that the artefacts help bring the Tiwanaku people to life! “They were grateful, they made offerings. They were just people like you and me,” he insisted…

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