Pumapunku also called Puma Pumku or Puma Puncu, is part of a large temple complex or monument group that is part of the Tiwanaku Site near Tiwanaku, Bolivia.
Tiwanaku is significant in Inca traditions because it is believed to be the site where the world was created.In Aymara, Puma Punku's name means "The Door of the Puma". The Pumapunku complex consists of an unwalled western court, a central unwalled esplanade, a terraced platform mound that is faced with megalithic stone, and a walled eastern court.
The Pumapunku is a terraced earthen mound that is faced with megalithic blocks. It is 167.36 meters wide along its north-south axis and 116.7 meters long along its east-west axis. On the northeast and southeast corners of the Pumapunku it has 20-meter wide projections that extend 27.6 meters north and south from the rectangular mound. The eastern edge of the Pumapunku is occupied by what is called the "Plataforma Lítica". The Plataforma Lítica consists of a stone terrace that is 6.75 by 38.72 meters in dimension. This terrace is paved with multiple enormous stone blocks. It contains the largest stone slab found in both the Pumapunku and Tiwanaku Site. This stone slab is 7.81 meters long, 5.17 meters wide and averages 1.07 meters thick. Based upon the specific gravity of the red sandstone from which it was carved, this stone slab has been estimated to weigh 131 metric tons.
The other stonework and facing of the Pumapunku consists of a mixture of andesite and red sandstone. The core of the Pumapunku consists of clay. The fill underlying selected parts of the edge of the Pumapunku consists of river sand and cobbles instead of clay. Excavations at the Pumapunku have documented "three major building epochs, in addition to small repairs and remodeling".
At its peak, Pumapunku is thought to have been "unimaginably wondrous",adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, trafficked by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests and elites decked in exotic jewelry. Current understanding of this complex is limited due to its age, the lack of a written record, the current deteriorated state of the structures due to treasure hunting, looting, stone mining for building stone and railroad ballast, and natural weathering.
The area within the kilometer separating the Pumapunku and Kalasasaya complexes has been surveyed using ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, induced electrical conductivity, and magnetic susceptibility. The geophysical data collected from these surveys and excavations have revealed in the area between the Pumapunku and Kalasasaya complexes the presence of numerous man-made structures. These structures include the wall foundations of buildings and compounds, water conduits, pool-like features, revetments, terraces, residential compounds, and widespread gravel pavements all of which now lie buried and hidden beneath the modern ground’s surface.