We made a day trip from La Paz to Tiwanaku (about 30 miles away) to visit the main site of this Pre-Incan civilisation. Tiwanaku - spellings vary - was an extensive empire for several centuries. The beginnings of the civilisation were about 300BC with rapid territorial expansion from around 400AD. By 800 the capital city had grown to a population of up to 30,000 (recent research suggests the surrounding area's agriculture could have supported 1.5m people). The empire flourished with extensive trading until 950 when a sudden climate change led to increasingly serious food shortages and the eventual collapse of the civilisation around the year 1000. The Tiwanaku people left no written record so details of their history can only be pieced together from archaeological remains.
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