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The Exceptional Inscription on the Pokotia Monument – Evidence of Sumerian Script in Bolivia?

The Exceptional Inscription on the Pokotia Monument – Evidence of Sumerian Script in Bolivia?


There is a very intriguing inscription on the back of the Pokotia Monolith. What makes it stand out is that it was written in linear Sumerian. Even more exciting is that it provides further evidence of a Sumerian presence in ancient South America.

When I deciphered the inscription, I was told that The Pokotia Monolith was discovered by Bernardo Biados, Freddy Arce, Javier Escalente, Cesar Calisaya, Leocadio Ticlla, Alberto Vasquez, Alvaro Fernholz, Omar Sadud, Paulo Batuani, and Rodrigo Velasco on January 4, 2002. They told me this discovery and other research done by these researchers was supported by the Honorable H. Enrique Toro, President of the Congress of Bolivia.

Bizarrely, the exact same inscription is shown on a tablet in the collection of Father Crespi, an Italian missionary who served in Ecuador. This can be viewed at 23:40 on the following video.

Inscription on the back of Pokotia Monolith. (Author provided)

Inscription on the back of Pokotia Monolith. (Author provided)

Finding More Inscriptions on the Pokotia Monolith

Originally it was believed that there was an inscription written only on the front legs of the monolith, but further research indicated that there were also inscriptions on the back of the statue and directly below the left hand of the figure.

Inscriptions on the Pokotia monolith’s legs (top) and hand (bottom). (Author provided)

Inscriptions on the Pokotia monolith’s legs (top) and hand (bottom). (Author provided)

The Pokotia inscriptions were written in linear Sumerian. This makes the text very significant because it supports the discovery of Sumerian symbols on the Fuente Magna bowl. They both provide evidence of Sumerian inscriptions in South America.

Putaki: Who was this Oracle Mentioned on the Pokotia Monolith?

The inscriptions on the back of the Pokotia statue define the role of the Putaki oracle in the community. It would appear that people recognized this oracle as a source of "truth" and glad tidings. Its additional role was to establish righteousness, wisdom, and good character for the members of the community who might use this oracle to communicate with the gods.

The Fuente Magna bowl and Pokotia monolith. (Author provided)

The Fuente Magna bowl and Pokotia monolith. (Author provided)

Throughout this inscription on the Pokotia monument the Putaki oracle is called "father". For example, in column 1, it was written that: "Proclaim the establishment of character. The strong father (Putaki) to send forth the divination". And, in column 4, we discover that [Putaki is] the father of wisdom (and) benefit (for all). This suggests that Putaki was recognized as the great ancestor of other oracles in Kuga-Ki.

This also indicates that Putaki oracle centers were situated in Bolivia. In these centers people went to divine the future, communicate with their gods and ancestors, or simply to obtain blessings and glad tidings from the Putaki oracle.

Similarities Between the Pokotia Monument and Statues at Tiahuanaco

The Pokotia monument is an authentic artifact made by the people of South America because it is identical to one of the statues from Tiahuanaco. This indicates that the Sumerians formerly lived in South America and may have played a role in the building of Tiahuanaco. It is also interesting to note that the Pokotia statue and Tiahuanaco monuments share similar headdresses and rib impressions along the chest area of several monuments.

Comparison of the Pokotia monolith with a figure from Tiahuanaco. (Author provided)

Comparison of the Pokotia monolith with a figure from Tiahuanaco. (Author provided)

Sumerian Script on Capac Clothing?

Among the Inca, it was popular to put Sumerian symbols in their textiles. Much of what we can decipher about the writing system of the ancient Peruvians comes from Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala’s El primer nueva crónica y buen gobierno (The First New Chronicle and Good Government). This Peruvian chronicle dates back to 1615. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala was a Native American.

In my book Ancient Scripts in South America , I discuss the Sumerian symbols found the textiles of Inca Sagas. In the images provided by Guaman Poma we find many Inca rulers, called Saga or Capac, that have Proto-Sumerian signs on their clothing.

Depiction of Manco Cápac by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala and detail of the symbols on his clothing

Depiction of Manco Cápac by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala and detail of the symbols on his clothing. (Public Domain )

It is interesting to note that the Proto-Sumerian signs on South American textiles were not just restricted to Peru. The writing on the Pokotia monolith makes it clear that the Pokotia oracle was heard by many people in ancient Bolivia too. During Inca (Sumerian:  En-ka "Great Lord") times, the temple city of Pachacamac contained the idol of Pachacamac, which was a commanding oracle drawing devotees from Ecuador in the North through Bolivia in the South. People came from far and wide for a Pachacamac prophesy (Moseley, p.68). The Pokotia monolith makes it clear that the popularity of oracles in this part of South America existed all the way back in time to the creation of the  Putaki oracle .

Pachacamac statue.

Pachacamac statue. ( LimaEasy)

Importance of the Pokotia Monolith and Fuente Magna Bowl

The fact that there are inscriptions written in Sumerian on pieces like the Fuente Magna bowl and Pokotia monolith suggest that the Sumerian language continued to be spoken in this area for an extended period of time. This explains why we find Sumerian and Aymara cognate terms.

The Sumerian artifacts from Kuga-Ki also illustrates the legacy of writing in South America. In my book Ancient Scripts in South America , I discuss the legacy of writing among Native Americans in this region.

Along with the Sumerian symbols on the Fuente Magna Bowl and Pokotia monument, the identification of Sumerian place names on the Altiplano suggest that Bolivia was at least part of Kuga-Ki. Kuga-Ki was the "Tin Land of the West" or the "Sunset Land", in Sumerian inscriptions. These artifacts also show the widespread existence of Putaki Oracle centers in Bolivia.

By Dr. Clyde Winters


Guaman Poma de Ayala, El primer nueva crónica y buen, (1615).



The Sumerian Language/Cuneiform script seems to have gone out of use by the first century AD.It certainly had a long life and was adapted for use by other languages-as were many other successful writing systems.
I see very little that I can recognize as Cuneiform script in these admittedly mysterious inscriptions.And no one has figured out how the ancient Sumerians came to Bolivia.Archaeology is a science worthy of logic. Can we look at the evidence first -then come up with possible conclusions? Then we should form very tentative theories and test them by looking at the evidence again.Only then should we form some kind of a conclusion.
So far we have two-just two -artifacts .There is absolutely no other evidence that the ancient Sumerians came to Bolivia .Were these artifacts accurately dated? Shouldn't they be roughly of the same age? And the nagging question -How did the ancient Sumerians come to Bolivia? I think these
premature conclusions are driving serious scholars away from the study of these artifacts.
It's still an interesting article that I was happy to read.

Would it be possible to compare the Bolivian Sumerian script with ancient Sumerian and arrive at a possible date as to when that language showed up? I would assume over time the scrips found in South America would evolve. To trace it back to a purer form and match might give a date as to when it arrived in South America.

Clyde Winters's picture

I have studied Sumerian and Elamite for many years. In fact, I have published numerous articles on the relationship between Elamite and the Sumerian language in linguistic journals. No one has disproved the existence of Sumerian writing in South America. Some laymen, like yourself claim that Proto-Sumerian writing does not exist, this is false. This writing was written by Sumerians on early media including clay and pottery. Sumerian researchers call this form of writing Linear Sumerian. You can find examples of the symbols in C. J. Ball's, Chinese and Sumerian @ Professor C.J. Ball , was a Professor at the University of Glasgow. Ball compared Proto-Sumerian signs to the Ku-Wen Chinese symbols. As you can see from Ball's comparison of Ku Wen and Proto-Sumerian (see the sign list) , Proto-Sumerian writing exist. If there is a Sumerian script called Linear Sumerian or Proto-Sumerian the so-called experts don't know what they're talking about when they say the Sumerians did not have a Proto-Sumerian script.The existence of Proto-Sumerian writing explains how the Sumerian could take this script to Kuga-Ki in South America.

Language experts and archaeologists have disproved this claim about Sumerican or proto-cunieform script in Bolivia. If you know either of the Middle Eastern languages you would see the differences.

Alternative facts are always funny and (very) creative.
But imaginary friends and imaginary history only tells something about you, not about the thing you talk about.
And "FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE" ... please, grow up.


Clyde Winters's picture

Clyde Winters

Dr. Clyde Winters is an Educator , Anthropologist and Linguist. He has taught Education and Linguistics at Saint Xavier University -Chicago. Dr. Winters is the author of numerous articles on anthropology, archeogenetics and linguistics. His articles have appeared in the Journal... Read More

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