The German adventurer Arthur Posnansky explored Tiwanaku in 1904 and, his 1945 monumental two-volume book attributed its decline to "malign climate conditions." Indeed, the historical record confirms that Andean climate can be malign.from the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru indicates a decrease in precipitation between 650 AD and 730 and between 1245-1310.
Because of its sacred nature, the lake's shores are ringed with the ruins of small shrines and temples, some dating as far back as 700 BC.High dust concentrations peaked between 600-920 coinciding with periods of massive field construction.Also beginning in 1000 there was a rise in the mean temperature (between 0.5 and 1 degree).There is evidence, however, that a lesson was learned. They revolutionized their agriculture, instituting a totally new system which, some believe, allowed the empire to prosper for an additional 400 years.In any event, Tiwanaku agricultural surpluses after the drought can be attributed to raised-bed irrigation.
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Researchers think that Tiwanaku (the city) was originally one of these small religious centers.