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        Prehistoric Mexico:

Link to Chichen Itza, Mexico Link to Teotihuacan. Mexico Link to Palenque, Mexico. Cuicuilco pyramid Link to Chaco Canyon

Mexican civilisation is recorded as beginning with the 'Nahua' (Those who live by the rule), now associated with the people known as the 'Toltecs'. Spence (1), says that in Nahua tradition, the name of the locality from whence the race commenced its wanderings was called Aztlan (The place of reeds). The first capital of the Toltec empire was called 'Tollan', now occupied by the modern city of Tula. The destruction of the Toltec empire was attributed to the constant offensive by the Chichimec's, who occupied most of the abandoned Toltec cities and began an empire of their own.

The now fossilised, worked bone in the photo (below), was found nearly 40ft deep in upper Pleistocene deposits dating from about 10,000 - 8,000 BC, at Tequixquiax, in the north of the valley of Mexico. Height 6 inches (15.4cm). (Present location: Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico).

 

   Featured Mexican Sites:
 

Tenochtitlan, Mexico.Tenochtitlan: The Aztec Capital.

Tenochtitlan, the Capital of the Aztec empire, was built on a cluster of small natural islands on Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The founding of capital city in the middle of a marshy lake may at first seem absurd, but its exact location was foretold and fulfilled by prophesy, and Tenochtitlan indeed grew to become the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica, and at its height was one of the largest cities in the world.

(More about Tenochtitlan)

 
 

Cuicuilco Pyramid:

The Cuicuilco settlement was abandoned when it was covered with volcanic lava around 2,000 years ago. It is the only circular pyramid in Mesoamerica, and the earliest.Although there has been much debate over the age of this pyramid, Radiocarbon dating has determined that the earliest date of settlement was no earlier that around 2,000 B.C. making it contemporary with the Olmecs. Following the final eruption of the nearby Xitli Volcano, the population is believed to have travelled north to Teotihuacan.

(More about Cuicuilco)

 
 

Chichen Itza - Abandoned Mayan city.

The stepped pyramid-temple (Right), records the equinoxes in a unique way. The sun creates a shadow of a huge 'snake' to ascend the steps in spring, and descend again in autumn (2). Whether or not this was a deliberate design feature is speculative, but other astronomical features at the site certainly lend weight to the idea that it was intentional. Each step corresponds to a day, each platform to a Mayan month. The temple is erected above the 365 steps. (17).

(More about Chichen Itza)

 

La Venta:

Perhaps one of the most convincing arguments in favour of Old world-New world contact comes in the form of the several large Negroid stone-heads at La-Venta, an Olmec culture which also has several examples of images of bearded people.

The huge proportions of the heads suggests that they were important people, and their association with the Olmec culture at around (800-600 BC) places them long before the Maya, Inca or Columbus's arrival in America.

The La Venta heads showed several similarities to the Tres Zapotes heads, and it emerged that they dominated the ceremonial plaza, a feature which suggests that they were in some way 'revered'. Four heads were found at La Venta, all of them faced the Atlantic, and the largest at 9ft high had its domed top flattened so that it could function as an altar. A speaking tube was found going in at the ear and out at the mouth; a possible oracle or talking god. Radio carbon dates from the site were published in 1957 and they give an average reading of 814 BC +/- 134 yrs.  These figures were among the oldest at the La Venta site.

La Venta was not alone in its depiction of Negroid faces in stone. Apart from the four found there, two were excavated in Tres Zapotes and a further five at San Lorenzo in Vera Cruz, one of which, the largest known, is nine feet, four inches high, and is estimated to weigh around 40 tons. (3)

(More about La Venta)

(More about the Stone Heads)

 

Teotihuacán - The 'City of the Gods'.

It was suspected by Stansbury Hagar, that the city had been built as a 'map of heaven'. During the 1960's and 1970's a comprehensive mathematical survey was carried out by Hugh Harleston Jr. He found that the principle structures line up along the street of the dead (and beyond), and that the city was a precise scale model of the solar system, including Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (not rediscovered until 1787, 1846 and 1930 respectively. (21).

The Pyramid of the sun (Right), has the same base dimensions and half the height of the great pyramid in Egypt.

(More about Teotihuacan)

 

Monte Alban.

Believed to have been built around 600 BC, this is one of the largest and earliest cities in Pre-Columbian America. This Zapotec complex of ceremonial buildings was built on the levelled top of Monte Alban mountain. It has some of the most oddly shaped structures of the ancient world. No two sides or angles of the building are equal. Slabs on the outside are inscribed with symbols and hieroglyphs that are still not fully deciphered today. (32)

There are a large number of carved stone monuments at Monte Alban. The earliest examples are the so-called "Danzantes" (dancers), which represent naked men in contorted and twisted poses, some of them genitally mutilated. The 19th century notion that they depict dancers is now largely discredited, and these monuments, dating to the earliest period of occupation at the site (Monte Albán I), clearly represent tortured, sacrificed war prisoners, some identified by name.

(More about Monte Alban)

 

Palenque - Mayan pyramid complex.

The only known example of an original burial within a pyramid.

The tomb of Pakal was found deep within the 'Temple of Inscriptions' (which also houses the second longest Glyphic text from the Mayan world). The photo (left) is the famous lid of Pakal's tomb, suggested to represent Pakal in the guise of one of the manifestations of the Maize God emerging from the  underworld.

Spence (1), says: 'The entire city of Palenque was solely a priestly centre, a place of pilgrimage'. The city is laid out in the shape of an amphitheatre, with a central pyramid. The city was deserted in the 8th century AD, along with several other Mayan centres.

In the last 15 or 20 years, a great deal more of the site has been excavated, but currently, archaeologists estimate that only 5% of the total city has been uncovered.

(More about Palenque)

 

Tula (Tollan): Toltec Ceremonial Site:

Tula is generally accepted as the legendary capital 'Tollan' of the Toltec empire, founded around 750 AD, at the same time as the Teotihuacan empire was in decline.

During the height of Tula's power, between AD 900 and 1100, it included an area of some five square miles, with an occupation estimated as high as 60,000.

(More about Tula)

 

 

   Prehistoric Mexico:

 

 

The 'Jaguar stone' - (Photo, Left. 72 in, 1.8m high). This 'Holed-stone' was found at the entrance to a natural cave. It is dated from 800 to 100 BC, and is from Chalcatzingo, Morelos.

(More about Holed Stones)

 

 

 

Astronomy - Aztec theology postulated an eternity which was broken into a number of aeons each of which depended on the duration of a 'sun'. Most traditions suggest that four 'suns' have already passed, the end of each which was marked by disaster - flood, famine, tempest and fire. The period of time from the first creation to the current age was calculated at 15,228, 2386, or 1404 solar years  (1920) (1)

 

 

In issue #8 of The Ancient American, G. Thompson translated a few paragraphs from Mariano Cuevas' 1940 book: Historia de la Nacion Mexicana, which told of a discovery in Mexico.. The following is a summary of that translation.

In August 1914, Professor M.A. Gonzales was excavating Mayan ruins in the city of Acajutla, in Mexico. The two illustrated statuettes were uncovered (Left). On the male, the headdress, the beard, and the cartouche are all typically Egyptian in style. The male is thought to represent Osiris, the female Isis.

(Ref: Thompson, Gunnar; "Egyptian Statuettes in Mexico," Ancient American, 2:12, no. 8, 1995.)

 

There are several other striking similarities between old-world and pre-Columbian Mexican cultures.

Left: Zoarastan Sun-god. Right: Mexican Sun-god.

(Pre-Columbian Old World - New World Contact)

 

   Pre-Columbian Literature: The Codices.

There are only three remaining 'Codices' (Texts), that survive the European 'conquest' of the America's:

 

  • The 'Oxford' codex, in the Bodlean Library, England, which is of a historical nature, and contains a full list of the lesser cities which were subservient to Mexico in its 'palmy' days.

 

  • The 'Dresden' codex (once the 'Paris' or 'Tellerio-Remensis' codex), so called because it was once the property of Le Tellier, the Archbishop of Rheims, which embodies many facts concerning the early settlement of the various Nahua states.

 

  • The 'Vatican' Codex', which deals chiefly with mythology and the intricacies of the Mexican calendar system.

 

  • The Mexican 'Book of the Dead' - One of the last pages of the Vatican manuscript concerns the journey of the soul after death and through the other-world. This book has been called the 'Mexican book of the Dead', in which 'The corpse is dressed for burial, the soul escapes ...by way of the mouth'. The dead person is given over to the tests which proceed the entrance to the abode of the dead...'He first passes between two lofty peaks, then a 'terrible serpent' intercepts his path'...etc etc...

This text has several striking similarities to the 'Egyptian book of the dead'.

 

  • The 'Teo-Amoxtli' (The Divine book) - A piece of Nahua literature , which is alleged by certain chroniclers as having been the work of the ancient Toltecs, is surrounded by mystery, as it no longer exists... It is described by by Ixtilxochitl, a native Mexican historian, as having been originally written by 'Tezcucan' a wise man, at the turn of the seventh century, and concerned the pilgrimage of the Nahua from Asia, their laws, manners, and customs, and their religious tenets, science and arts. In 1838, the Baron de Waldeck stated in his 'Voyage Picturesque' that he had it in his possession, and the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg identified it with the 'Dresden codex'....(1)

 

The mythological deity Quetzalcoatl was regarded in Nahua myth as 'The king of the Toltecs' (1)

 

 

Mayan Portal to the Underworld, Mexico

A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves—some underwater—have been uncovered on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists announced in Aug 2008.

According to Maya myth, the souls of the dead had to follow a dog with night vision on a horrific and watery path and endure myriad challenges before they could rest in the afterlife.

In one of the recently found caves, researchers discovered a nearly 300-foot (90-meter) concrete road that ends at a column standing in front of a body of water.

"We have this pattern now of finding temples close to the water—or under the water, in this most recent case," said Guillermo de Anda, lead investigator at the research sites.

Saturno said the discovery of the temples underwater indicates the significant effort the Maya put into creating these portals.

In addition to plunging deep into the forest to reach the cave openings, Maya builders would have had to hold their breath and dive underwater to build some of the shrines and pyramids.

Other Maya underworld entrances have been discovered in jungles and aboveground caves in northern Guatemala Belize.

(Other Underground Sites)      (More about This Discovery)

 

 

Extreme Mexican Masonry.

 

Tlaloc Statue, Mexico: Found in the town of Coatlinchan near Tlaloc Mountain in the State of Mexico and weighing 168 tons, this is the largest existing monolith in the Americas.

This statue was made of Basalt and weighed an estimated 168 tons (24). It was moved to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City in 1964.

Tlaloc, the provider, had attributes of the rain. He created and brought down the rain and the hail. He caused the trees, the grasses, the maize to blossom, to sprout, and to grow. Also attributed to Tlaloc was the thunderbolts and the drowning of people.

Some scholars believe that the statue may not have been Tlaloc at all but his sister or some other female deity.

 

Acosta, in his "History of the Indes," lib. vi., p.459, quoted by Maurice ("Observations connected with astronomy and the ancient history of Babylon"), states that some of the stones in the Mexican temples to Sun and Moon measure 38 feet by 18 feet by 6 feet. (12)

Quirigua: “…the largest Mayan stele, at Quirigua, measuring 10.7 x 1.5 x 1.27 meters, and weighing 65 tons.” “the site of Quirigua is where the largest monolith in the Maya world stands. It is the Stella E, weighing 65 tons and standing 35 feet high. It was quarried about three miles away.”

(Other Examples of Extreme Masonry)

 

 

   Sonic Effects in Pre-Columbian Structures:

There are several interesting accounts of sonic effects from Mayan ceremonial structures as the following examples illustrate:

 

At least two structures at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza display unusual and unexplained acoustical properties.

The Great Ball-court: The Great Ball-court is 545 feet long and 225 feet wide overall. It has no vault, no continuity between the walls and is totally open to the sky.

Each end has a raised "temple" area. A whisper from end can be heard clearly at the other end 500 feet away and through the length and breath of the court. The sound waves are unaffected by wind direction or time of day/night. Archaeologists engaged in the reconstruction noted that the sound transmission became stronger and clearer as they proceeded. In 1931 Leopold Stokowski spent 4 days at the site to determine the acoustic principals that could be applied to an open-air concert theatre he was designing.

The Castillo: This structure is a temple that looks like a pyramid and is the one most commonly pictured on travel brochures for the Mexican Yucatan. Apparently if you stand facing the foot of the temple and shout the echo comes back as a piercing shriek. Also, a person standing on the top step can speak in a normal voice and be heard by those at ground level for some distance. This quality is also shared by another Mayan pyramid at Tikal.

If a person stands at the bottom of the Castillo and shouts, the sound will echo as a shriek that comes from the top of the structure. If someone stands on top and speaks in a normal voice, they can be heard on the ground at a distance of 150 metres away. (2)

 

At Palenque, also in Mexico, it is apparently the case that if three people stand on top of the three pyramids, a three-way conversation can easily be held.

It is said that if a person stands at the base of the pyramid-like Temple of the Magician and claps their hands the stone structure at the top produces a 'chirping sound' (2)

(Prehistoric Acoustic Phenomena)

 

 

 

   List and Description of Mexican Sites:
 

List and description of featured Mexican sites.

Chichen Itza.   Mayan, Abandoned, Home of the Calendar Pyramid.
Cuicuilco.   The earliest pyramid in Mesoamerica.
La Venta.   Home of the Great Olmec Stone Heads.
Monte Alban.   Ceremonial Zapotec Complex.
Palenque.   Pyramid Complex.
San Lorenzo   Olmec City, Several Stone Heads.
Tenochtitlan.   Aztec Capital City.
Teotihuacan.   The City of the Gods.
Tres Zapotes.   Olmec Capital. Stone Heads. Earliest 'Long Count'
Tula (Tollan).   Toltec Ceremonial Complex.

(Olmec Stone Heads)

(Old-world - New-world Contact)

(Other Pre-Columbian American Sites)

 

 

References:

1) Lewis Spence, Mexico and Peru, 1994, Senate press.
2). A. Collins. Gods of Eden. 1998. Headline press.
3). Ivan Van Sertima. African presence in Early America. 1992. Transaction Publishers.
6). Ivan Van Sertima. They Came Before Columbus. 1976. Random House..
12). J. N. Lockyer. The Dawn of Astronomy. 1964. M.I.T. Press
13). The atlas of mysterious places. Guild publishing. 1987.
17). E. Von Daniken. In Search of Ancient gods. 1976. Corgi.
21). G. Hancock. Fingerprints of the gods. Mandarin. 1996.
24). http://instructional1.calstatela.edu/bevans/Art446-03-Teotihuacan/WebPage-Info.00033.html

 

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