See A. Posnansky, Tiahuanacu (4 vol., 1945-58); J. A. Mason, The Ancient Civilizations of Peru (1957, rev. ed. 1988); A. L. Kolata, The Tiwanaku (1993).
Major pre-Columbian Andean civilization known from the ruins of the same name near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The Tiwanaku civilization spread throughout large areas of Bolivia and Peru and parts of Argentina and Chile. The main site's earliest remains may date from circa 200 BC–circa AD 200 and its major buildings from circa AD 600 to circa 1000. Surviving artifacts include stelae, decorated pottery, and the famous Gateway of the Sun (Puerta del Sol), an ornamented doorway carved from a massive stone slab. Much of the culture's success derived from its raised-field farming technique, in which elevated planting surfaces were separated by canals that retained the sun's heat during the cold nights and kept the crops from freezing. Algae that grew in the canals was used for fertilizer. The Tiwanaku culture vanished by 1200.
Learn more about Tiwanaku with a free trial on Britannica.com.