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June 2002-January 2005Interactive Dig at Tiwanaku
Evidence of monumental architecture found in unit L-9, just as expected from the GPR data

Photos courtesy Alexei Vranich. Click on images for larger versions.
by Alison Peters

Akapana Pyramid: July 26, 2004

We chose our excavation units to correspond with subsurface reflections detected during the 2002 survey (see map), and we continued investigating these anomalies this week.

In units L-5, L-6, and L-7, we hoped to find a plaza. The GPR data for these areas doesn't show significant reflections that would mean walls or large features, but the lack of information is possibly an indicator of open space there (more on this next week). The radar data indicates a change about 60-70 cm below the surface in unit L-7, and we found what we believe to be a looted burial and a very definite soil change at that depth in our excavations.

We expected units L-9 and L-11 to yield monumental architecture, and this was the case. The wall apparent in the radar for unit L-8, however, turned out to be later and unrelated to the Tiwanaku culture. In the southwest corner of this unit, investigation of another reflection led us to a floor.

What we discovered in unit L-12 corresponded nicely with the GPR findings. The corners are very prominent in the data, and they were exactly as expected. Unit L-10 contains a large amount of cobbles and pebbles along with an abundance of llama bones and ceramics. This feature is very thick and dense, and there seems to be more of it or another unrelated feature below this level. We shall see in the coming weeks!

We just started units L-13 and L-14 and have yet to encounter the reflections for which we are searching.

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