Lake Titicaca: Legend, Myth and Science


Series: World Heritage and Monument 2
ISBN: 978-1-931745-82-6
Publication Date: Jul 2012
Price: Pb $45.00, Ebook $36.00
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Charles Stanish

Lake Titicaca and the vast region surrounding this deep body of water contain mysteries that we are just beginning to unravel. The area surrounding the world’s highest navigable lake was home to some of the greatest civilizations in the Lake Titicacaancient world. These civilizations were created by the ancestors of the Aymara and Quechua peoples who continue to live and work in Peru and Bolivia along the shores of this ancient body of water. This lavishly illustrated book provides astate-of-the-art description and explanation of the great cultures that inhabited this land Lake Titicacafrom the first migrants ten millennia ago to the people who thrive here today. We will also discover the world of myth and legend that has grown up around this mysterious place, including the lost continent of Mu, the land of Paititi, El Dorado and the many mystic ruins of Titicaca. We then explore the Lake Titicacaresults of a century of scientific research that provide an even more fabulous tale than the legends and myths combined. This book is an indispensable guide for any visitor who has an interest in archaeology, history and culture. It is likewise an excellent introduction for the interested reader who yearns to know more about this fascinating place.

Table of Contents


  • The Collao
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Titicaca Region
  • Society and Religion

Legends and Myths


  • The First Peoples of the Lake Titicaca Region
  • The Earliest Civilizations, circa 1800 BC to AD 500
  • The First Great City of the Titicaca
  • Region: Tiwanaku
  • Tiwanaku on the Islands of the Sun and Moon
  • Why did Tiwanaku collapse?
  • The Great Kingdoms of the Twelfth through Sixteenth Centuries
  • The Pilgrimage Destination of Sillustani
  • The Inca Conquest of the Titicaca Region
  • Inca Roads in the Lake Region  
  • The Inca Pilgrimage Route to Copacabana and the Islands of the Sun and the Moon
  • The Sacred Rock Shrine Area and Solstice Worship by the Inca Empire
  • Worship by the Inca Empire
  • The End of Prehistory