Was Bolivia-Peru the Sunset Land of the Sumerians?
This part of Bolivia is famous for the rich minerals found in the area. Many of these metals are found at the Bolivian Altiplano, near Lake Poopo, an inland sea, which was formerly connected to the Pacific Ocean by rivers now dried up.
“Salar de Uyuni is part of the Altiplano of Bolivia in South America. The Altiplano is a high plateau, which was formed during uplift of the Andes mountains. The plateau includes fresh and saltwater lakes as well as salt flats.” (Dimitry B./ CC BY 2.0 )
The Bolivian Altiplano is the largest plain in the world. It contains two inland seas: Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopo. This area high in the Andes mountains makes it an apt location for Lake Manu or the ‘Cloud Lake’ of the Sumerians, where metals were mined in the Mountains of Sunset, the land situated west of the Mediterranean Sea.
Lake Poopo is fifty miles (80 km) long. The lake was surrounded by mountains on all sides and canals. Satellite pictures indicate that deep canals formerly existed near Lake Poopo. It is a shallow sea a few feet deep. Lake Poopo is a salty sea, sometimes known to dry up.
Kuga-Ki, The western Tin Land of the Sumerians (Courtesy author)
Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopo are connected by the River Desagua dero. The companion Lake of Poopo, was Lake Uru. The city of Oruro is located near Lake Uru.
The metals found near Lake Poopo include copper, tin, gold and silver. Here we find metals being extracted in the cities of Oruro and Corocoro where gold and copper were mined. The names for these cities suggest a Sumer origin. In Sumerian the name for city is uru. The suffixes –oro for the cities around Lake Poopo, is strikingly similar to uru.
It is also interesting to note that a major center in this area for mining is Potosi. Potosi is famous for its tin deposits. At Potosi we find the Potosi mountain which is made of solid tin and was called Mount Catavi.
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The Potosi area was a major center of mining. In the 1550’s, the Spanish began to exploit the silver found at Potosi Hill. The Spanish called Potosi Hill, Cerro Rico or “Rich Mountain”. As a result of the Spanish attempt to fully exploit the riches in this area “a horrific” number of Indians died in the mines. Hugh Thompson in The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland , vividly describes this tragedy.
Thompson says that “the mine consumed the labor-force of Bolivia’s Altiplano. If they didn’t die, they were ground down by the apology for a wage that was paid to them. Within a generation, the population of those parts of the Altiplano used for mine conscription was halved. Within another generation it had halved again. And still Potosi continued to exact its quota”.
Potosi, the first image in Europe. Pedro Cieza de León, 1553. ( Public Domain )
In modern history Potosi has been a center for the mining of tin, copper, lead and silver. Located near Tihuanaca, Potosi may have been a center of Sumerian settlement in ancient times like the cities of Oruro and Corocoro. Bailey suggests that Potosi may relate to the Sumerian term Patesi, the Sumerian term for ‘priest king’.
The metals mined on the Altiplano were transported along the Pilcomyo River (or Rio de la Planta today). The Sumerians may have transported metals from Bolivia across the Atlantic to ancient Sumer. A great route for the shipment of tin from Kuga-ki was down the River Plate, eastward across the Atlantic, past the Cape of Good Hope, via the Indian Ocean to enter the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
In addition to affinity between the symbols found on the Pokotia monolith, Fuente Magna bowl, and Incan weaving, we also find that these symbols are identical to signs engraved on Moche bricks. A common feature of Huanca or carved Inca stones are steps cut into the rock.
Clyde Winters in Ancient Scripts in South America: The Sumerians in South America , has shown that the Inca Throne, an immaculately carved set of shallow steps, is similar to Proto-Sumerian signs. Other signs from huacas or carved stones at Rodadero Hill and the White Stone at Chuquipalta relate strikingly to the writing found on the Pokotia and Fuente Magna bowl.