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This is supposed to have been achieved by a civilization that had no writing system and was ignorant of the existence of the wheel. In assembling the walls of Puma punku, each stone was finely cut to interlock with the surrounding stones and the blocks fit together like a puzzle, forming load-bearing joints without the use of mortar.One common engineering technique involves cutting the top of the lower stone at a certain angle, and placing another stone on top of it which was cut at the same angle.Photo credit Photo credit The numerous H-shaped blocks all match each other with extreme precision and fit into each other like Lego blocks.Photo credit Photo credit Photo credit The Plataforma Lítica, or stone platform on the east side has the largest blocks, the heaviest being 131 tons made from red sandstone and quarried 10 km away.Puma punku is the name of a large temple complex located near Tiwanaku, in Bolivia, and is part of a larger archaeological site known as Tiahuanacu.The temple’s origin is a mystery, but based on carbon dating of organic material found on site, archeologists believe the complex may have been built by the Tiwanaku empire - one of the most important civilization prior to the Inca Empire – that flourished between 3 AD.
The blocks were so precisely cut as to suggest the possibility of prefabrication and mass production, technologies far in advance of the Tiwanaku’s Inca successors hundreds of years later. Some of the stones are in an unfinished state, showing some of the techniques used to shape them.They were initially pounded by stone hammers—which can still be found in numbers on local andesite quarries—, creating depressions, and then slowly ground and polished with flat stones and sand The stones are of mammoth proportion.The largest of these blocks is 25.6 feet long, 17 feet wide and 3.5 feet thick, and is estimated to weigh 131 metric tons.The precision with which these angles have been utilized to create flush joints is indicative of a highly sophisticated knowledge of stone-cutting and a thorough understanding of descriptive geometry.Many of the joints are so precise that not even a razor blade will fit between the stones.