Tiwanaku

Bas relief decoration on the back of the Bennett monolith: two faces with halos on their respective podiums. Photo by Daniel Giannoni.
Staff God of the Bennett monolith redrawn by Martt Pärssinen after Posnansky (1945).
Escudilla PRT 00439 displays a pair of fish head motifs on the interior of its flaring rim. Photo by Antti Korpisaari.
The eye of the avian-faced Profile Attendant on Tiahuanaco's Gate of the Sun has an Anadenanthera colubrina symbol attached. It is the only convincing Anadenanthera colubrina icon on the Gate of the Sun. Drawing by Patricia Knobloch.
These details from the left upper portion of the Ponce monolith are replete with Anadenanthera colubrina symbols, as is the entire statue and many other Tiahuanaco religious sculptures. It seems likely that relative abundance of Anadenanthera colubrina imagery in Tiahuanaco (and Huari) religious art relates to the popularity of hallucinogen-induced, shamanic types of religious experiences among the patrons of that art. Scarcity of Anadenanthera colubrina imagery in religious art probably relates to preferences for more sober and doctrinal kinds of religious experiences. To the degree that this is true, it seems that Tiahuanaco (and Huari) enjoyed two distinct modes of religious experience that were probably in conflict and negotiation, at least some of the time. Drawing by Amy Oakland, enlarged figures in red redrawn by William H. Isbell.
Anadenanthera colubrina symbols appear abundantly in the imagery on the Late SAIS Tiwanaku Phase 5 Taquiri Cube. Phase 5 in the Agüero et al. seriation (2003) also includes the Gate of the Sun—with its single location for A. colubrina and the Llojeta Block, apparently lacking the symbol (illustration based on Ryden 1947:357, Figure 147).
The architrave popularly called the Gate of the Moon is assigned to Phase 5, the end of the Late SAIS stylistic seriation at Tiahuanaco, by Agüero, Uribe, and Berenguer (2003). Other Phase 5 sculptures are the famous Gate of the Sun and the Llojeta Block.
Although crafted in different media, Staff Gods from the back of the Ponce monolith and from the chest of the 1977 Conchopata effigy offering jars are remarkably similar in many details. Drawings by Patricia Knobloch and William H. Isbell.
Kantatayita lintel and detail, Tiahuanaco. Photo by Constantino M. Torres.
Primary signs components of snuff trays, Bennett stele, Ponce stele, and Gate of the Sun. Drawings by Donna Torres.

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