Located in the remote mountains of central Bolivia, 120 kilometers from the town of Santa Cruz, the ruins of Samaipata are one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in all of South America. Perched at 6500 feet above sea level (1949 meters), the site was first discovered by the early Spanish and named ‘El Fuerte’ as it was believed to have military significance. Archaeologists no longer believe in the military use of the site but consider it to have had religious significance.
Samaipata site consists of two separate parts: the hill covered with numerous carvings, which is believed to have been used as a ceremonial center, and the second part is closer to south of the hill which was formed as the administrative and residential district.
Back in AD 300 this site served as a ritual and residential place for people belonging to Mojocoyas culture. Scientists believe it was the time when the rock started its shaping. In the 14th century the site was occupied by Inca who turned it into a provincial capital.
According to the local guides, the red sandstone surface appeared around 1500 BC and was done by Amazonian people, which is still doubtful, as they mostly used stone age tools while the number of weathering on the stone definitely required more advanced equipment.
The most fascinating features of these sites are two parallel grooves, which were more likely to be used for ritual purposes. Though some conspiracy theorists believe they were used as runways for ancient spacecraft.
The large niches, of which there are at least 15 are big enough that a human body can easily fit in them, and they are very similar to features found at such sites as Ollantaytambo and Amaru Machay which most archaeologists believe are Inca works, yet could be thousands of years older.
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