On the road between La Paz and the Peru border are the excellent ruins of Tiwanaku. This major city and religious center was built by Tiahuanaco people between 700 and 900 AD. The amazing stone work and basic religious ideas are thought to form the basis of the Inca culture that flourished later.
The ruins are about half excavated, and archeological work is taking place as visitors tour the unearthed sections. As we walked through this space, feelings of peace and power were clear. However, our tour was punctuated by the crude and comedic efforts at protecting the important pieces. Harsh barbed wire surrounded many of the sculptures, and we were yelled at periodically by the archeologists for taking pictures of them, and I don’t know what else… being there I suppose.
Regardless, the place is amazing!
For more information about Tiwanaku, check out the link: http://www.archaeology.org/interactive/tiwanaku/history.html