Photograph of Arthur Posnansky from Campaña del Acre: la lancha "Iris"; aventuras y peregrinaciones
Arthur Posnansky (1873–1946), often called "Arturo", was at various times in his life an engineer, explorer, ship’s navigator, director of a river navigation company, entrepreneur, La Paz city council member, and well known and well respected avocational archaeologist. During his lifetime, Posnansky was known as a prolific writer and researcher and for his active participation in the defense and development of Bolivia. He is well known for his books, including Tihuanacu, the Cradle of American Man, Campana de Acre, La Lancha "Iris", Die Osterinsel und ihre praehistorischen Monumente, and Rasas y Monummtos Prehistoricos del Altiplano Andino. Outside of Bolivia, where he is still widely read, Posnansky's writings about the Tiwanaku Site have also been made popular by authors such as Graham Hancock, Charles Hapgood, and Rand Flem-Ath, who rely on Posnansky's dating of the Tiwanaku Site to support their theories.
He was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 13, 1873. He helped his father in his business as a manufacturing chemist. At this time, he was deeply involved in cognate studies. His interest in cognate studies ended when his father suddenly died. After his father's death, Posnansky studied at the Imperial and Royal Academy of Pola (now Pula) for the position of Naval Military Engineer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. During his time in the Imperial and Royal Academy of Pola, he made several extensive training voyages, which took him many places, including the Easter Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, as a part of his shipboard training. While on Easter Island, he made ethnological observations, which he later published as Die Osterinsel und ihre praehistorischen Monumente. Posnansky graduated from the Imperial and Royal Academy of Pola at age 18.