Tiwanaku (Spanish spellings: Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years. The ruins of the ancient city state are near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca, about 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz, Bolivia, centered at .Some have hypothesized that Tiwanaku's modern name is related to the Aymara term taypikala, meaning "stone in the center", alluding to the belief that it lay at the center of the world. However, the name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants has been lost, as the people of Tiwanaku had no written language.
]]The site of Tiwanaku was founded in approximately 200 BC as a small agriculturally-based village, with a number of similar neighbors. The high altitude Titicaca Basin requir