Considering Certain Lithic Artifacts of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) and Pumapunku (Bolivia) as Geopolymer Constructs

Journal on Geopolymer Science Applied to Archaeology
2020, Vol. 1, p. 44-53


By Thomas A. Gara, Schongauer Institute, Munich (Germany)
Prof. Joseph Davidovits, Geopolymer Institute (France).
Frédéric Davidovits, Ph. D., Geopolymer Institute (France).


The studies carried out in 2015-2018 on the monumental stones constituting the Pumapunku site in Bolivia (South America) provide evidence that the stones are ancient artificial geopolymers. The two types of lithics under consideration are large platforms and ‘sculptures’ exhibiting characteristics that would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with the tools thought to be available to the Tiahuanacans’ of 1500-2000 years ago. For examples, big lithics exhibit perforations of unique characteristics. These holes, believed to be boreholes, are found in andesite artifacts. In number, they approach 900 perforations. The holes/perforations of 3 or 4 mm diameter could have been created with wooden dowels forced into the plastic geopolymer, as well as reed or copper tubes forced into the material in the same way cookie cutters remove the cookie from the dough. The paper also discusses other geopolymer lithics.

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