Ruins in Tiwanaku

North of the Akapana Pyramid is Kalasasaya, a partially reconstructed 130m-by-120m ritual-platform compound with walls constructed of huge blocks of red sandstone and andesite. The blocks are precisely fitted to form a platform base 3m high. Monolithic uprights flank the massive entrance steps up to the restored portico of the enclosure, beyond which is an interior courtyard and the ruins of priests’ quarters. Note the size of the top stair – a massive single block.

The Monolito Ponce monolith, with his turban (no doubt covering up his deformed cranium), mask, ceremonial vase and walking stick, sits at the center of the first platform. Some say the stick and the vase are symbolic of the dualism of Andean culture (nature versus nurture).

Other stairways lead to secondary platforms, where there are other monoliths including the famous El Fraile (priest).