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Andes Empires

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Archaeology or Revisionism
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

The Kalasasaya, one of Tiwanaku’s main temples, draws thousands of tourists a year—though the reconstruction is likely inaccurate. Rebuilt in the 1960s, the temple was the vision of the first Bolivian archaeologist at Tiwanaku, Carlos PoncÚ Sangines, who ruled the site with an iron fist. The rebuilt Kalasasaya gives Bolivians a tangible connection to Tiwanaku, inspiring a strong national identity and pride. “Every Bolivian schoolchild will see it,” says Tiwanaku researcher Alexei Vranich. “From an archaeological perspective it’s questionable, but the modern social and political meaning stands.”

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fuji Velvia
Lens: 28-70mm zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Cold and sunny
Time of Day: Sunset
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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