Publication Date

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Jane Rhoades Hudak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John Baungion, M.F.A.

Third Advisor

Javier Chavira, M.F.A.


Before the rise of the Incan Empire, there was an ancient civilization living throughout the Andes that thrived for several years. This civilization inhabited the region near the basin of Lake Titicaca known as the city of Tiahuanaco, presently in modern day Bolivia. Located at the site are many remnants of architectural structures and artwork made of stone. Little definitive knowledge is known about the peoples that created these enigmatic works.

This study is an examination of the stonework at the site of Tiahuanaco. These structures display the exquisite masonry skills and artistic capabilities that the ancient civilization attained. Each of the structures along with the sculptures created will be analyzed to better understand the dynamics and beliefs of the people. The meaning, context, and style of the stonework will be accompanied with interpretations. The results of this study revealed information regarding the beliefs of the people including the importance of individuality and diversity, the environment and surroundings, and cosmology to the ancient civilization, all reflected throughout the art.

Abstract.docx (11 kB)