Monday, December 05, 2005

Current events

Again departing from structure for a bit, I decided to do a little research on current events that link to the Akapana. I decided not to focus on the obvious stuff like the solstice ceremony on June 21 since that info is easy to find. So here’s a list of random stuff I found: 1. In early October of 2005, more tunnels were discovered beneath the Akapana, and a remote-controlled camera was sent down to investigate further. The story was picked up by both regular people via blogs, as well as via the news media. Cultural significance: Show that there is still very much a spirit of discovery and excitement surrounding the site even though it’s been investigated for hundreds of years. 2. From tourist accounts in blogs, personal home pages, and travel sites, I notice that tour guides like to point out the “mysterious” magnetic fields at the site of the Akapana (nothing more than a result of some of the rocks being andesite). Cultural significance: A demonstration of how speculation can get spread around the world about the Akapana and how crazy UFO stories get started. Also shows the need for locals to keep interest in the site alive. 3. The president of Bolivia visited Tiwanaku on August 1, 2004 to kick off a new investigation of the Akapana pyramid (a 5-year project, partially funded by the government). Cultural significance: Shows that the Akapana is a national treasure. 4. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) recently named Tiwanaku a World Heritage Site partly because structures like the Akapana, “are exceptional examples of the ceremonial and public architecture and art of one of the most important manifestations of the civilizations of the Andean region.” Cultural significance: Shows that the Akapana is also an international treasure.


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