Click For Photo: https://img.purch.com/h/1000/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzEwMy80Nzkvb3JpZ2luYWwvdmlydHVhbC1wcmUtaW5jYW4tZ2F0ZS0wMQ==?&imgtype=.jpg
A sprawling pre-Incan stone structure in western Bolivia was once so impressive that its magnificence was described as "inconceivable" by Spanish conquistadors in 1549. Since then, centuries of looting reduced the formerly breathtaking building to scattered ruins, but scientists recently restored the enormous structure to its former splendor — as a 3D model.
Known as Pumapunku ("gateway of the puma" or "gateway of the jaguar" in the local indigenous language), the building was part of the ancient city of Tiwanaku, a bustling metropolis of the Andes from A.D. 500 to A.D. 1000.
Science - Week - Cannibal - Sharks - Stinky
What was weird in science this week? Cannibal unborn sharks, stinky sock fungus, and edible glitter that may not be edible after all.
By 3D printing scale models of the building parts, Vranich and his colleagues could explore how structures may have fit together through trial and error. This process is much more difficult to do with virtual models — which are less intuitive to manipulate and interpret — and is impossible to accomplish with the ruins' massive rocks, according to the study.
Vranich - Results - Pumapunku - Piece - Evidence
Vranich's results not only presented a near-complete Pumapunku, they also delivered "a solid piece of evidence" negating persistent rumors that the site was built by visiting extraterrestrials — so-called believers claimed that its architecture was unlike any other known structures on Earth, so it must have been engineered by alien architects, Vranich explained.
However, when the model of one building was assembled, its form was "immediately recognizable" as a design found in buildings at two nearby sites, Vranich wrote in the study.
Location - Pumapunku - Gateways
This is the likely location of the Pumapunku gateways.
In its heyday, Pumapunku was a sizable complex of plazas and ramps adjoining a massive, T-shaped platform, and it featured gateways and windows carved from single blocks of stone, according to Vranich.
Hundreds - Years - Complex
But over hundreds of years, the complex was plundered over...
Wake Up To Breaking News!