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The Lasting Influence of the Tiwanaku

The Inca (A.D. 1430-1572) may have taken the practical administrative methods of running an empire from the Wari, but they looked to the Tiwanaku for spiritual guidance. For the Inca, as well as the first Spanish explorers, the Tiwanaku’s capital was a mystical place of elaborate temples and gods. The Inca claimed the Tiwanaku as their spiritual ancestors, denoting how highly they regarded this culture. “Everyone in the Andes knew about Tiwanaku,” says archaeologist Alexei Vranich. Although the reason for the demise of the Tiwanaku is unknown, a devastating drought around A.D. 1100 may have been the cause.

Text Source: Morell, Virginia, and Kenneth Garrett. "Empires Across the Andes." National Geographic Magazine June 2002: 106+. National Geographic Virtual Library.
Photograph by:
  • Martin Gray/National Geographic Creative