Andrew Collins inspecting a stone block at Tiwanaku's Puma Punk complex
A R T H Q U E S T vN E W S
ANDREW COLLINS NEWSLETTER - AUGUST 2015
In this issue: Who Built Tiwanaku - Transpacific Contact and Neanderthal tools in Tiwanaku - Cusco's Koricancha - Göbekli Tepe Tour in September - Origins of Civilization Tour of Turkey in May 2016 - Origins 2015 Event - Latest Information - Black Alchemist Promo Video and Interview with Psychic Bernard G. - America's Stonehenge - A Mysterious Hill Video - New Borderlands Video - Path of Souls - The Native American Death Journey Video - Search for Shambhala Tour of Northern India in July 2016 - Egypt Tour in September 2016 - Back in Göbekli Tepe in September 2016 - Join Us There!
months now since I was last in touch. Much has happened since then, including
three weeks in South America on the Megalithomania/Hidden Inca Tour of Peru and
Bolivia. In all honesty, I didn't expect the visit to have much impact on me,
but it did. In fact it blew my mind, and will definitely influence the composition
of my new book on the effect of hybridization on the flowering of human civilization
and the rise of a universal belief in the soul's origins among the stars.
After returning from South America I became obsessed with trying to find the true origins of the cultures responsible for the emergence of civilizations such as that of Tiwanaku in Bolivia and the Inka of Peru. Having seen all the key sites for myself I quickly became convinced of a couple of things:
Firstly, there was good evidence that a culture employing the use of large scale monumental architecture and precision stone cutting techniques could have preceded the rise of the Inka empire, ca. 1250 AD. This was evident at sites like Ollantaytambo and the Temple of Viracocha at Machu Picchu, where giant stone blocks can be seen in secondary use. In other words these blocks were originally intended for use in another perhaps earlier building. Yet there was no clear indication how old these original structures might have been, or which civilization was responsible for creating them. All this could have happened immediately prior to the rise of the Inca Empire, or it could relate to human activity many thousands of years earlier.
the root of this suspected earlier civilization that employed the use of precision
cut monumental architecture was unquestionably the Tiwanaku culture that thrived
close to the shores of Lake Tititaca, a huge inland sea that straddles the borders
of Peru and Bolivia. This is borne out by Inkan legends that speak of the creator
god Viracocha, or the twin offspring of Inti, the sun-god, rising out of Lake
Titicaca to begin their ministry on earth, which included the creation of the
Inka civilization. Viracocha was also the god of the Tiwanaku culture, whose mythical
existence and influence throughout the Andes gave rise to the emergence of the
WHO BUILT TIWANAKU?
The Tiwanaku complex near La Paz in Bolivia is, of course, the centre focus of the culture of the same name. Among its sprawling ruins are the remains of the Puma Punku pyramid platform. This includes hundreds of cut and dressed stone blocks, many with multiple angles and showing an extremely high level of geometric precision and complexity. What is more, some of these blocks are thought to weigh anything between 100 and 200 tonnes a piece, while others are regularly 5 to 10 tonnes a piece. Many of these stone blocks I was able to inspect first hand on our own visit to the site.
my mind, there is no question that whoever created structures like the Puma Punku
pyramid platform and other similar monumental architecture at Tiwanaku were responsible
for similar monuments built at Inca sites prior to the emergence of the Inka themselves.
The bigger and more pressing question is the age of the Tiwanaku culture? When
exactly were structures like Puma Pumku created? Academics hold that the Tiwanaku
culture flourished between 200 BC and 300 AD. Yet some proponents of the alternative
archaeology community are convinced the complex is around 12,000 years old, based
on the work of Austian-born archaeologist and engineer Arthur Posnansky (1873-1946)
who excavated Tiwanaku during the first half of the twentieth century and used
archaeoastronomical techniques to determine that the site's Kalasasaya building
was built around 15,000 BC. After Posnansky's findings were published in 1945
they were severely criticised by his contemporaries. This led to him reducing
the proposed age of Tiwanaku down from 15,000 BC to either 10,000 BC or 4500 BC
using the same archaeoastronomical technique. Although Posnansky's findings have
been severely criticsed and are openly dismissed today, belief that the site is
a "pre-calataclysm" site over 12,000 years persists, having now been
adopted by the alternative archaeology community.
With these two quite contradictory views of Tiwanaku firmly fixed in my mind, I studied the entire site looking for any clues regarding the complex's true age. I looked at alluvial mud deposits that covered major structures such as the Akapana Pyramid. These are thought to be evidence of a cataclysm that destroyed Tiwanaku 12,000 years ago, although are really much more recent in date as Lake Titicaca regularly suffers earthquakes that tilt the landscape and almost certainly cause tsunamis on occasions.
I examined examples of the local stone tool technology, and looked also at the different art styles employed by the Tiwanaku culture, with particular reference to connections with other cultures in the region. The whole thing has been a mind expanding experience. I spent every spare hour of every working day trying to find answers, and very gradually a picture started to emerge - one that is slightly different from that painted by both the academic and alternative archaeology communities.
reasons I shall outline in the book, I now suspect that some part of the Tiahaunaco
complex was in place as early as 2000-1500 BC, and derived from a much earlier
culture known as the Chiripa. They emerged at sites on Lake Titicaca as early
as 1500 BC building sub-surface megalithic structures that are strikingly similar
to the stone enclosures at Tiwanaku. The Chiripa, who are named after a site of
this name located on the Taraco Peninsula at the southwest shores of Lake Titicaca
were the creators of a religious revolution in high reief visionary art known
as the Yaya-mama tradition, which was adopted also by other cultures in the Lake
Titicaca region, including the Pukara culture located to the northwest of the
lake. The Yaya-mama art style, which was almost certainly influenced by the use
of psychotropic drugs, such as the San Pedro cactus, included the creation of
anthropomorphic stone idols that were often covered in snakes and abstract human
heads and faces. Some of these idols have been found at Tiwanaku, showing the
influence of the Yaya-mama tradition there.
So the question becomes not who founded Tiwanaku, but who exactly were the Chiripa?
One possible clue comes from new evidence of a stone tool technology present at Tiwanaku known as Mousterian or Levallois, which is Neanderthal in origin. Stone tools that were made using the Levallois technique (for more information on this subject check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levallois_technique) have now been found in association with key sites in Tiwanaku. The big problem here is that the latest date tools like this are likely to have been in use is 2000 BC, the generally attested end date for the Archaic period. This is the epoch of the Paleo-Indians and their descendents who thrived in the Americas prior to the emergence of civilization.
This is not to say that Neanderthals were responsible for the construction of Tiwanaku, only that a culture that persisted in using this archaic form of stone tool technology was present at the site during its formative stages. The continued use of Mousterian-Levellois tools after the disappearance of the Neanderthals some 30,000 years ago is not an issue. Upper Palaeolithic and even later Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures in Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia (Java and Sulawesi in particular) all continued to use the old-style Levallois technique to make tools, even though more sophisticated means of tool making was now available. Why some cultures would want to continue to make tools like the Neanderthals remains unclear, although one possibility is that these cultures included hybrid individuals whose own ancestors were Neanderthal themselves, something I am now exploring in connection with the emergence of the Tiwanaku culture.
Some Mousterian-Levallois style tools have been recorded at sites in Bolivia. These sites are extremely old, and some scholars date them anything upto 30,000 years in age. They also also found at various sites in neighbouring Chile ranging in date from 9400 BC to 2000 BC. As North Chile is located between Bolivia and the Pacific coast then seeing it as a place of origin of cultures such as that of the Chiripa and Tiwanaku makes good sense. Such a realisation is important as there exist several archaic legends that speak of Viracocha-like culture heros arriving on the Chilean coast before moving inland to reach Lake Titicaca, where they go on to found the first civilization, usually named as Tiwanaku. Did these people bring with them the Mousterian-Levallois tool making technique? Or where they already present among the pre-existing peoples that already inhabited the highland and coastal regions of Chile, Bolivia and southern Peru?
various types of stone tools made using the so-called Levallois technique, whereby
a core is first prepared around its edges using a percussion tool. When complete
a large finished flake is laterally removed from its surface. The core is then
prepared again and another finished flake detached. A third attempt is generally
attempted, although eventually the core becomes too thin for further use. This
process of tool preparation formed part of the so-called Mousterian tradition,
a stone making tradition attributed in Eurasia to the Neanderthal population.
It was their unique signature. Yet even after their disappearance in Europe and
Asia sometime around 30,000 years ago some Homo sapiens
populations continued to use the Mousterian-Levallois
stone making technique. This continued through until Neolithic times in certain
parts of the world even though other more efficient methods of tool production
were now available. Yet why can stone tools from the Mousterian-Levallois tradition
be found at Tiwanaku?
THE CENTRE OF THE INKA WORLD
Whilst in Peru our tour group visited Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inka empire. One place I was looking forward to visit was the Koricancha, a site considered to be the dead centre of the Inka empire, all other temples and shrines being orientated towards it (a bit like all mosques being orientated towards Mecca). The actual centre, or "navel" marking the centre of the Koricancha is, quite curiously, not a round topped stone as it is in many countries, but an eight-sided hollow basin that resembles an over-sized plant trough! Despite this, the site is magical, and kept pulling me back. So inspired did I become by the place, which was transformed by the Spanish into the Church of San Domingo, I started writing a definitive article on Inka cosmology, something I outlined originally in The Cygnus Mystery (2006). This was inspired by my discovery there of a copy of a strange wall plaque, originally made of gold and known as the Inkan altar. Before the Spanish melted it down, it was affixed to the wall of the Koricancha and showed, in highly abstract form, a representation of the Inka cosmos and its relationship to this world, the world of Mamapacha, the Earth Mother. I will let you have the link to this article as soon as its goes online.
Illustration and key to the so-called Inca Altar once displayed in Cusco's Koricancha, the center of the Incan world. Every symbol has a symbolic interpretation, but several of the features relating to celestial and astronomical themes. Note the two crosses of stars positioned in the central column. One is the Southern Cross, but what is the other one at the top? Find out in Andrew's new article on Inca cosmology coming soon.
GÖBEKLI TEPE TOUR IN SEPTEMBER 2015
On to other things now. Hugh Newman of Megalithomania and I are returning to Göbekli Tepe and the surrounding area in September 2015 for a 6 day/5 night tour. It will also take in Harran, Karahan Tepe, and the sites of Sanliurfa. There are still places available if you want to see these incredible sites, with all the information on how to register at the following link:
ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION TOUR OF TURKEY IN MAY 2016
Hugh and I are also planning a full Turkey tour for the second half of May 2016. It will begin in Istanbul and end at Nemrut Dag in the eastern part of the country, and takes in sites including the underground cities of Cappadocia, the Hittite cities of Alaca Höyük and Hattusa, various sites in Istanbul, Catal Höyük, Asikli Höyük, Göbekli Tepe, Harran, Karahan Tepe and more. Special guest on the tour will be Brien Foerster, the author and proprietor of Hidden Inca Tours, who is an expert on ancient Andean civilizations.
More on this two-week tour in the next few weeks.
COUNTING DOWN TO ORIGINS 2015
Origins 2015 Conference in London takes place on Saturday, November 7th. Organised
jointly by myself and Hugh Newman, it features a host of top quality speakers
including Graham Hancock, whose new book Magicians of the Gods is about to be
serialised in a major UK newspaper. Jim Vieira, the star of the hit TV show "Search
for the Lost Giants", will be there, as will Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince.
Their book The Templar Revelation helped inspired the plot of Dan Brown's Da Vinci
Code. Danny Hilman Natawijaja, the geologist who has redated the Javanese complex
of Gunung Padang to pre-8000 BC, will be speaking via video link from Java, and
both Hugh and myself have new lectures to present.
There is also a Sunday Walkabout with me, Andrew Collins, taking in Hawksmoor churches, pentagonal geometry, Jack the Ripper sites and, if you survive the tour, join us for a drink in the famous Ten Bells pub and later a "Ruby Murray" (curry) in a Brick Lane Indian restuarant.
For full details of the event and how to register go to:
Watch the introductory promo video for Origins 2015 that Hugh and I made when visiting the venue for the conference:
ALCHEMIST PROMO VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE TO WATCH
Here is something else you might want to see. It is a cool promo video to accompany the re-release of my cult classicThe Black Alchemist. See it at:
It was put together by my colleague Greg Little and I think he has done an incredible job. The video revolves around an interview with me done in a darkened environment lit only by candles, and is interspersed with subliminal shots of the Black Alchemist (well, Richard Ward dressed as the Black Alchemist!!!) and recordings from actual live quests from the past. So if you want to know exactly what my book The Black Alchemist is all about, here is your chance. It is only nine minutes long so you can watch it at any time.
BERNARD G. INTERVIEW NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE
If that intrigues you, and you still want to know more you about the events surrounding the Black Alchemist story listen to a full length interview I did with Bernard G., the principal psychic involved in the story. The whole thing was recorded in a car outside the church of Danbury in the English county of Essex. This was one of the key sites involved in the events featured in the book. The interview originally formed the basis of a tape recording I sold alongside The Black Alchemist book on its release in November 1988. Take a listen and see what you think.
is no longer with us, so this is a great way of getting to know this extraordinary
man, who was one of the most talented direct information psychics I have ever
had the privilege to work with. He was also a close friend. His departure in 2010
was a sad loss for the world.
Thank you to Andy Mercer for uploading this interview.
If you want to order a copy of the special signed and numbered edition of The Black Alchemist they are available directly from me at the following link:
Or you can order a standard copy direct from Amazon.
AMERICA'S STONEHENGE: A MYSTERIOUS HILL - A NEW VIDEO
This spring I visited America's Stonehenge, an amazing megalithic complex near North Salem, New Hampshire, with my friends Greg and Lora Little. The whole thing was recorded and Greg has now put together a video of our trip. I feature in it and also provide narration on the site's antiquity and possible meaning. The video is entitled "America's Stonehenge: A Mysterious Hill" and is around 13 minutes long. Watch it when you can:
MORE VIDEOS FROM GREG LITTLE
has also put together more videos based on our visit to New England earlier this
year. One is on the mysterious stone walls and stone chambers in the Borderland
National Park, Massachusetts. These structures are almost certainly of pre-colonial
construction created perhaps by an unknown Native American culture associated
with other similar megalithic sites in the region including America's Stonehenge.
PATH OF SOULS
Another video put together by Greg is called "Path of Souls on the Native American Death Journey". It is based on the book of the same name, written by Greg, which has contributions from me.
In the past it is clear there was a unified death journey shared by a large number of Native American tribes, and that it originated much earlier, probably among the Hopewell and Adena peoples. It features an ascent of the Milky Way, the so-called Path of Souls, which is accessed via a portal in the constellation or Orion. Finally, the soul of the deceased reaches a place where the Milky Way bifurcates or forks (the beginning of the so-called Great Rift or Dark Rift). Here it encounters an arbiter, or judge or the dead, in the form of a raptor-headed anthropomorph (the Cygnus constellation). If the soul is judged righteous, it is allowed to cross a log bridge that enables access to the afterlife (the connecting stream of the Dark Rift linking the northern and southern halfs of the Milky Way). If the soul is deemed sinful it is cast into an underworld occupied by a water dragon (the constellation of Scorpius). All this is explained in the Path of Souls video, which is 23 minutes long. Have a watch when you can:
Signed copies of Path of Souls: The Native American Death Journey are available direct from me at the following link:
Or you can order a standard copy direct from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS - UPCOMING TOURS TO INDIA, EGYPT AND GÖBEKLI TEPE AGAIN
In addition to organising a full-length Turkey Tour for 2016, Hugh Newman of Megalithomania and I are also organising three further tours that might well interest you.
2016 we present the "Search for Shambhala Tour", which will visit fully
functional Tibetan monasteries in Ladakh, Northern India, known as "Little
Tibet" due to the heavy influence of Tibetan Buddhism in the region. The
tour will journey north through the Shyok and Nubra valleys, seeing prehistoric
petroglyphs, visiting a further Tibetan monastery, and reaching as close as possible
to the Karakoram Pass, once said to be the entrance to Shambhala. This was a legendary
lost land, an otherworldly realm, once believed to exist north of India and Tibet,
most likely in the Kunlun Mountains to the east of the Karakoram range.
The tour will also feature a two-day retreat in a remote Tibetan Buddhist retreat center, as well as a visit to the Qutb archaeological complex on the outskirts of Delhi prior to the tour group's departure to Ladakh in the north. The tour will be 15 days/14 nights in duration.
More on this tour soon.
Then in September Hugh and I will join forces with the Khemit School of Ancient Mysticism to bring you a full tour of Egypt from Cairo and Giza in the north to Aswan in the south. Sites to be visited include Edfu, Luxor, Karnak, Valley of the Kings, Saqqara, Dahshur, Abydos, Denderah, and many more. The tour will be around two weeks in length, with an extension to Baalbek in the Lebanon, which Hugh will lead himself alongside Patricia Awyan of the Khemit School.
Hugh and I shall also be returning to Göbekli Tepe and the surrounding region for another mini break in October next year, although we have yet to decide on a date as we are exploring possibilities already for the Origins 2016 event, which could be very special indeed. So sit tight and I will provide you with more dates and details as soon as they become available.
If any of these tours do take your fancy, register your interest now, so that you can be the first to learn of new developments, and how to register.
Until next time.