Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mexico Mystery in Pyramid of the Sun

In the common era of the first millennium, the best developed city of ancient times was none other than Teotihuacán. Archaeologically, pyramids had a primal meaning for pre-Columbian citizens as well as the ancient pharaohs of Egypt separated across the span of the Atlantic Ocean within very different cultures, almost during the same time frames. There are hieroglyphics in each civilizations pyramids. Even the auspices and orators of ancient Rome would be forced to bow before the eminence rising as high as the pyramids springing out of the land now called México, but referred to as Mesoamerica. Since 1987, the area an hour's ride in a rickety tour bus outside Mexico City has held a place as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the amazing cultural history and incredible monuments left by an enterprising people. Now tourists flock to Teotihuacán from all over the world to climb the stone steps and see the view from Pyramide de la Luna, especially at time of the spring equinox. (Reuters)

Along the Avenue of the Dead up to the Pyramid of the Sun speaks to an ancient sophistication in urban planning. Now there is a mystery at the Pyramid of the Sun, what caused a collapse - thirty years ago they opened a tunnel that may hold the clue. A team of archaeologists gather to determine causation. Wars of words still rage between archaeologists in papers as to whether Teotihuacan is Totonac in origin or how much Mayan influence actually existed. No one knows. But many scholars and cultural enthusiasts believe clues are still confined within the Pyramid of the Sun. Speculators hazard a guess that volcanic activity was part of the city of over a 150,000, ruination. A long abandoned, torched and destroyed city is what the adventurous Aztecs found in 1500. Then the Spanish showed up.

Seems this particular pyramid does not have as famous a curse as King Tut, but the archaeologist that found the pyramid's secret tunnel thirty years ago, died, taking his insights with him to the grave. Now archaeologists with decided lack of superstitions have reopened the area to seek more answers. Anthropologists will collect more data to inform on their sacred rituals and religious practices and why the tunnel was sealed by the original inhabitants.
Archaeologists are now revisiting a cave system that is buried 20 feet (6 meters) beneath the towering Pyramid of the Sun and extends into a tunnel stretching for 295 feet (90 meters) with a height of 8 feet (2.4 meters).

They say new excavations begun this month could be the key to unlocking information about the sacred rituals of the people who inhabited the city, later dubbed "The Place Where Men Become Gods" by the Aztecs, who believed it was a divine site. (Photo Reuters)

Charles Mann took ten years to emote one of the most seminal books charting the history of the Incas, Mayans, Olmecs among many and their claim to a heritage more unique and deserving of praise than most in the western world are aware. His book, which is a wondrous legacy for all people is 1491: New Revelations of the America Before Columbus. Just an insightful, illuminating well written treatise that is worth more than Inca Gold.

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