The Mystery of Puma Punku’s Precise Stonework


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 300 and 1000 AD.

The most intriguing thing about Puma punku is the stonework. Puma punku was a terraced earthen mound originally faced with megalithic blocks, each weighing several tens of tons. The red sandstone and andesite stones were cut in such a precise way that they fit perfectly into and lock with each other without using mortar. The technical finesse and precision displayed in these stone blocks is astounding. Not even a razor blade can slide between the rocks. Some of these blocks are finished to 'machine' quality and the holes drilled to perfection. This is supposed to have been achieved by a civilization that had no writing system and was ignorant of the existence of the wheel. Something doesn’t add up.


Extraordinary craftsmanship is displayed in the stones. Photo credit

An article from Wikipedia describes the fantastic engineering involved in the temple’s construction.

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. 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. Much of the masonry is characterized by accurately cut rectilinear blocks of such uniformity that they could be interchanged for one another while maintaining a level surface and even joints. 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. Due to their size, the method by which they were transported to Puma punku has been another topic of interest since the temple's discovery. Chemical analysis reveal the red sandstone blocks were transported up a steep incline from a quarry near Lake Titicaca roughly 10 kilometers away. The smaller andesite blocks that were used for stone facing and carvings came from quarries within the Copacabana Peninsula about 90 kilometers away from across Lake Titicaca.


An example of high-precision small holes. Photo credit

Based on circumstantial evidences, it can be argued that Puma punku was never built by the Tiwanaku, but by a civilization that was more advanced. Perhaps the carbon dating results were wrong due to contamination of the samples, or that Puma punku was built by another civilization that came across the ocean, built the complex and left. Some believe that Puma punku couldn’t have been built without help from alien beings.

The complex is in complete ruins today with huge blocks of granite lying around on top of each other. The site appears to have been destroyed by an earthquake, perhaps accompanied by a tidal wave from Lake Titicaca.


This block seems to get the most attention, as there is a perfect groove with identically spaced precision-cut 6mm holes drilled along the cut. Photo credit


More drill holes in what was once a lintel, with extraordinary detail that is just still visible. Photo credit


Stone block with a set of blind holes of complex shape. Photo credit


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The numerous H-shaped blocks all match each other with extreme precision and fit into each other like Lego blocks. Photo credit


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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. Photo credit


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How Puma punku might have looked. Photo credit


Satellite picture of Puma punku.

Source: Wikipedia / Ancient Wisdom / Ancient Origins

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  1. No matter who created this site, the stone work is a marvel....and, a mystery as to how the stones were cut and how they were transported.


    2. has been debunked, Gustauve.

    3. I found it interesting when I read the statement " unable to fit a razor blade between". When building a stone wall one has to account for thermal expansion and contraction of the construction media. If you build a tight fit stone wall of blocks and leave no slight gapping in the joints, the structure will literally tear itself apart over time. At the very least you should have gaps between stone over enough time.

      After 2,000 plus years you cannot fit a razor blade between the stones? My next question is, what is the building medium, taking the near lack of thermal expansion into account it does not seem likely that this is ordinary run of the mill stone. Looking at the pictures it seems to me that these are not actually natural stones at all but something that has been mixed and poured into forms.

      I have been studying new forms of concrete that have been invented in the last two or three decades, concentrating on those that have the best compressive strength, fastest setting times and the least thermal expansion ratings as well as the most environmentally friendly mixes. It is interesting to note that one of the most advanced mixtures and the one that I am the most interested in utilizes weathered granite 60%, alkali silicate 17%, and slag 23%, the slag referring to the byproduct of creating iron, lime added to the molten mixture to react with the non iron materials leaving a glass like waste product "slag". This type of concrete has a very high mechanical strength, it has a compressive strength rating of 100 to 125 Mpa at 28 days, basically that approaching natural stone, as compared to 20 to 30 Mpa of ordinary portland cement.

      The scientific paper that I was reading did not detail any numbers on thermal expansion so I was thinking about that. After a few days I got to thinking about past stone structures that were still standing and had tight joints after thousands of years and the thought struck me that they should be having problems with thermal expansion. So I realized that potentially whatever materials they used may have a solution to the problems of thermal expansion in construction. That also led the conclusion that would mean the material used had to be chemically formulated to achieve this effect ie a concrete style formulation of the "stone". So it would appear that the answer to my question may actually be in the chemistry of the stones in ancient ruins.

      When I looked at the stones in these pictures with the idea of poured concrete style manufacture in mind it became quite apparent to me that these stones were in fact poured and formed in the way that we make concrete. I have poured a lot of concrete over the years and done a fair bit of stone working as well, these "stones" have all the hallmarks of poured concrete, but do not resemble worked stone.

  2. I have been there, its more amazing then you think! Must be way older.

  3. i'll bet they were molded not cut

  4. your comments that the carbon dating MAY have been wrong is very naïve, carbon dating and every other dating methods are notoriously unreliable and varied depending on whos doing them.

    1. as everybody knows, Carbon 14 dating is not able to date any stone work... just the age of the stone ...

  5. I think we can only marvel at these kinds of ancient sites. To presume to understand them might be a bit arrogant? The world is so full of mystery and things unexplainable that to attempt to define these mysteries is largely futile. There is so much we will never know.

  6. I don’t believe that the human element should be so easily dismissed. We look at the modern world through a glass lens. In our technological arrogance, we believe that we are superior to all that came before us. Pre-history does not mean pre–intellect. We forget that the steps that humanity made previously are the cornerstone of our modern society. It has been proven time and time again that given an opportunity humans can be extremely resourceful and achieve great things. If the site was created by other worldly beings: why use stone? Wouldn’t the use stainless, tungsten or titanium made a greater statement? Where some see a site of mystery and can not be built by so called primitives, I see human ingenuity

    1. Whoever came up with the design was a genius. They must have had an army, or at least a very large group of talented and skilled artists working on the project to do the carving and cutting out.

  7. I would like to see anyone make one of those blocks with a chisel!

  8. Puma Punku is 100,000 year old stone blocks made by projecting a hologram of the dimensions of the intended tonnes block above the ground from which the earth is sucked up into the hologram to form the blocks. First the earth is liquified somewhat, then solidified within the hologram frame. That many tonnes block is then levitated to the place it is to set into the wall. The band of holes over the Peruvian mountainscape are places where that technology was used to suck up earth. How do I know?

  9. I saw it done with a cylindrical machine in my dream. We were blue-skinned, newly arrived from another planet. Like the Egyptian holding up what looks like a very large lightbulb on an Egyptian temple wall painting, his machine was only a remnant memory of a very advanced machine we used about the same length and circumference, but not the shape. As I said, ours was metal and cylindrical with computer buttons on it. I gave a much better description to Mr. Tsarion.

  10. I'd like anyone to prove this today using any modern method to.
    A. Carve any of these H blocks to this level.
    B. Move 130 tonne stone block (which is in agreement they did) 10 km from quarry.

    This achievement if we accept the images of the stone hammers they apparently used and the quarry below the site from a people that had NOT invented the wheel but thought to use logs as rollers.

    Am I missing something or do scholars just make it sound easy to do without trying to actually do anyhhing to prove their hypnosis?

  11. In spite of the nonsense bantered about on the Ancient Aliens TV show and by the ancient alien crowd, there's no great mystery 'how' these stone works were created as the TOOLS are still scattered about the site as well as blocks partially completed. They never show that on TV.

  12. I can't wait to visit this site myself and try some decoding on my own.

  13. I'm going to visit this places soon


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