100,000 Year Old Ruins of South Africa

This article first appeared on grahamhancock.com and is written by Micheal Tellinger.

The history of southern Africa is one of the great untold stories of the world. It has remained a guarded mystery by traditional knowledge keepers and African shaman for thousands of years. But in 2003 everything changed with the accidental and serendipitous discovery of an ancient stone calendar that caused a chain reaction of events, which led us to decoding one of the greatest missing pieces regarding our human origins and the activity of the Anunnaki on planet Earth.

Many history books and scholars have told us that the first civilisation on Earth emerged in a land called Sumer, some 6000 years ago. This Sumerian civilisation left behind a detailed account of human activity in millions of clay tablets that continue to reveal critical human behaviour and outlines the relationship between the Anunna gods and the people of Sumer.

But our archaeological discoveries that began in 2003 suggest that the Sumerians may have inherited much of their knowledge from a civilisation that emerged many thousands of years earlier in southern Africa, already thought to be the cradle of humankind. These discoveries also suggest that the same deities, who have become known as the Anunnaki through the works of Zecharia Sitchin and many others, were also very active in the lives of the people of southern Africa, more than 200,000 years ago.

In 2003, a strange arrangement of large stones that were neatly planted at the edge of a cliff near the town of Kaapschehoop, South Africa, was spotted by Johan Heine from his aeroplane. After returning to the spot the next day to see the site on the ground, he instantly realised that this was no ordinary, nor natural arrangement of monoliths, and so began a process of measurements and calculations that lasted several years. His meticulous analysis clearly shows that this was an ancient calendar that is aligned with the movements of the sun, solstices and equinoxes, and that we can still mark every day of the year by the movement of the shadows cast on the flat surface of the calendar stone at the centre of the site.

But as it is with many ancient sites, including Stonehenge, the calendar aspect is not the main purpose of this structure, but merely a crucial feature built into the site. We have discovered deeper and more mysterious functions that only became apparent after many electronic and scientific measurements several years later.

Through its alignment with the stars and the movement of the sun, this African Stonehenge that I named ‘Adam’s Calendar’ has for the first time created a link to the countless other stone ruins in southern Africa, and suggests that these ruins are much older than we initially thought and forces us to start rethinking the activity by early humans in the so-called “Cradle of Humankind”.

The discovery of this calendar site was nothing new to Johan Heine, who had already spent at least 15 years photographing mysterious circular stone structures scattered throughout the mountains and valleys of southern Africa. These circular stone ruins have become affectionately known as the “stone circles” and they lie scattered in large clusters throughout the entire sub-continent that includes South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and parts of Mozambique. The complex that links Nelspruit, Waterval Boven, Machadodorp, Carolina, Badplaas, Dullstroom and Lydenburg, and has a radius of approximately 60 kilometres, covering an area larger then modern-day Los Angeles, has emerged as the largest and most mysterious ancient city on Earth.

The discovery of a bird statue that resembles Horus carved out of dolerite, a small sphinx about 1,5 metres long carved out of the same dolerite rock, a petroglyph of a winged disk, many carvings of Sumerian crosses in circles and an ankh in a radiating circle suggest that the prototype Sumerian and Egyptian civilisations had their origins in southern Africa thousands of years before they emerged in the north.

After meeting Johan Heine in early 2007, he invited me, along with a large group of the most senior scholars in the field of archaeology, history and geology from several South African universities, to experience the spectacular vista of the ruins from a helicopter, an event that spanned an entire weekend. Though this was an incredible opportunity of a birds-eye-view of the stone circles, on the day of the event, I was the only one to arrive. And so, I alone gained new perspective and became the one that carried the torch of future research and investigation.

Six years of research by a group of independent scientists and explorers has delivered what may be the crucial missing elements in our understanding of the lives and development of early modern humans. Our discoveries have been noted in two books – Adam’s Calendar and African Temples of The Anunnaki and will be updated in the soon to be released The Lost City of ENKI. But the research has also shown that these stone settlements represent the most mysterious and misunderstood structures found to date. It points to a civilisation that lived at the southern tip of Africa, mining gold for more than 200,000 years, and then completely and suddenly vanished from the radar. We may be looking at the activities of the oldest civilisation on Earth.

Little did I know that when I named the newly discovered stone calendar “Adam’s Calendar” how close to the truth I would be. This was only revealed to me by the preeminent Zulu Shaman Credo Mutwa some 2 years later, when he told me that he was initiated at the site in 1937 as a young shaman, and that this site is known to African knowledge keepers as Inzalo Ye Langa, or “Birthplace of The Sun”, where “heaven mated with mother earth” and where humanity was created by the gods.

But Credo went even further in his detailed explanation of the deep significance of the site when he explained that it was not just any god of the ancient times that created humanity, but specifically a deity that is know in Zulu as “Enkai”, the same deity know as ENKI in the Sumerian texts. This throws a whole new spin on our understanding of the Anunnaki on Earth and the “fingerprints” they left not only on ancient stone ruins but also the genetic manipulation and creation of the human race. These fingerprints have now been very clearly exposed in our genetic makeup by the brilliant work of William Brown, a molecular biologist and geneticist of the highest order who is part of the research team of Nassim Haramein’s Resonance Project Research Foundation, on the island of Kauai.

Out of Synch Alignments

After surveying Adam’s Calendar, it turned out that the north, south, east, west alignment is out by 3 degrees – 17 minutes – 43 sec in an anti-clockwise direction. This may be a critical discovery regarding turbulent times in antiquity because it irrefutably proves that the earth’s north-south alignment today, is not where it was when the calendar was constructed. It irrefutably proves that our planet has undergone a crustal displacement, or something along those lines, taking the north-south pole alignment with it. The theory of Crustal Shift or Crustal Displacement was proposed by scientist Charles Hapgood and strongly supported by Albert Einstein. Adam’s Calendar gives us the geophysical proof that such events did actually occur. What we do not know however at this stage, is when this shift happened.

Mysterious ancient ruins of southern Africa.

Until I started my research in 2007, it was generally accepted by scholars that there are about 20,000 ancient stone ruins scattered throughout the mountains of southern Africa. Modern historians have been speculating about the origins of these ruins, often calling them “cattle kraal of little historic importance”. The truth of the matter is that closer scientific inspection paints a completely different and astonishing new picture about the ancient history of these stone ruins. The scientific reality is that we actually know very little about these spectacular ancient ruins and it is a great tragedy that thousands have already been destroyed, and continue to be destroyed through sheer ignorance by power lines, forestry, municipalities, farmers and new housing developments.

After my personal explorations on foot and by air over the ruins, I confidently estimated the number of ancient stone ruins to be well over 100,000. This figure was confirmed by Prof. Revil Mason in January 2009. But after doing an extensive count on Google Earth and other aerial photographs I concluded that there are at least a staggering 10 million of these circular ruins. The mystery deepened when I found out that they have no doors or entrances in their original form and therefore could not have been dwellings. They were all originally connected by what we now call channels – (which our history books call roads that tribes drove their cattle on) – and are also surrounded and connected to an ongoing grid of agricultural terraces that cover more than 450,000 square kilometres. This clearly points to a vast vanished civilisation who grew crops on a gigantic scale.

Population Problem

This immediately poses a huge problem for archaeologists, anthropologists and historians because the accepted history of this part of the planet does not at any time in our past place anywhere nearly enough people here to have built this number of structures. It gets even more complex when you realise that these were not just isolated structures left behind by migrating hunter-gatherers, but a giant complex of circular structures all connected by the strange channels and suspended in a never-ending web of agricultural terraces. If we were to assume that these were dwellings, it would suggest a population of at least 10 million people – which is unimaginable to most of us today.

Ancient Gold Fields

It is important to note that the mysterious ruins of southern Africa, which include Great Zimbabwe and millions of similar ruins in that country, also extend into neighbouring areas like Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique. But why were these ancient people here in the first place? What were they doing?

The past 200 years has seen a number of explorers write in great detail about these ruins, but their findings have been largely forgotten and their books are out of print. Most of these early explorers write about thousands of ancient mine shafts found in close proximity to these ruins. In fact, most of these mines have been described as gold mines, copper, tin and iron mines. In my personal experience and research I have found at least 25 ancient mine shafts in gold-rich areas and been told about dozens more by farmers all over South Africa. Ancient mines covered by 30 metres of soil have been reported by at least 2 miners in the ‘30’s in the province of Limpopo and more than 75,000 mines have been reported by geological companies in Mpumalanga. It seems that gold mining has been going on here for a lot longer than most of us ever imagined.

Ann Kritzinger, a geologist from University of Zimbabwe has shown in several papers that many of the ruins in Zimbabwe were most likely for the purpose of extracting and purifying gold – and were not slave pits, animal pits or grain pits as is often suggested by ignorant scholars.

The presence of Dravidian gold miners is shown in great detail by Dr Cyril Hromnik in his astonishing book “Indo Africa” 1981 – showing in great detail the exploits of the MaKomati people – Hindu Dravidians – who were here in southern Africa mining gold as far back as 2000 years ago and probably even further back in time.

Sumeria and Abantu

The links to the Sumerian civilisation in southern Africa simply cannot be ignored or erased. They can even be traced with etymology in the names and origins of indigenous people. The most obvious evidence are the mysterious origins of the word “Abantu”, the name commonly used to describe black South Africans. According to Credo Mutwa, the name is derived from the Sumerian goddess Antu. “Abantu” simply means the children or people of Antu.

Energy Generation – Ancient knowledge

Extensive electronic measurements in 2011 have shown that the circular stone ruins are in fact energy generating devices, using the natural sound that emanates from the surface of the Earth, creating electromagnetic fields as a result of the sound amplification. The shape of the circular ruins are all very specific and unique because each circle represents the cymatic pattern of the sound energy as it appears on the surface of the earth at that point. This energy was amplified by a simple understanding of harmonics and utilised in the same way that we generate LASER and SASER beam technology today. Giant magnetron-shaped structures suggest that this was well understood by the ancients. I have measured these spectacular energies and electromagnetic waves and therefore do not hesitate to make these claims. Some of the sound frequencies go into the extremely high Giga hertz levels (over 380 Giga hertz) which are unheard of on Earth today in any normal application.

The fact that these circles are all connected by the stone channels makes it very clear to any scientist who works with electricity or energy that the stone circle complex is a giant energy generating grid that was most likely used in the mining and processing of gold on a scale unimaginable to us today.

Dating of The Ruins And Artefacts

This is a critical aspect of my research and there are several methods that I have had to resort to because we cannot use carbon dating to establish the age of stone. Neither can we assume that pottery or other artefacts found in the ruins were left behind by the architects. The many tools and artefacts that I have collected for my small museum in Waterval Boven are very unique and very mysterious – all made out of stone. They all seem to display strong acoustic properties and I call them “stones that ring like bells”. This was the realisation that led me to discover that sound played a critical role in the building of the ruins and the use of the energies that they create. One of the most obvious techniques I use in determining the possible age of the tools, is the patina growth that forms on the rock. The kind of patina or skin that grows on these artefacts, grows at a very slow rate that is estimated to be about one thousand years per microscopic layer. In other words, by the time that the patina is visible to the naked eye, it is already a few thousand years old. Most of the artefacts in my collection are completely covered in patina several millimetres thick, suggesting that these ancient tools must be well over 100,000 years old or even substantially older.

In conclusion, we are standing at the threshold of a brand new discovery that will expose great surprises and unveil a great hidden part of human history. My  book UBUNTU Contributionism – A Blueprint For Human Prosperity was released in September 2013 and I am completing the follow up to African Temples of The Anunnaki that will contain all the latest discoveries and conclusions I have reached regarding the vanished civilisations of southern Africa to date.

calendar site
An aerial view of the calendar site perched on the edge of the Transvaal escarpment consisting of black reef quartzite. The tree on the right is the north marker – the tree on the left marks south. All the monoliths that make up the circular calendar structure are dolerite. We do not know where the dolerite comes from. Note the sculptured pointed monolith closest to the edge. This is one of the 3 fallen monoliths that aligns with the rise of Orion’s belt.
calendar stone
Johan Heine shows us the shadow that moves from left to right of the calendar stone, allowing us to mark the days of the year, from the summer solstice on the left edge, to the winter solstice on the right edge.
Adam's Calendar
A close-up view of the Adam’s Calendar, showing that the north-south line dissects the two central calendar stones. The tree in the centre is where the north marker stone is located.
Adam's Calendar
This monolith at Adam’s Calendar was removed from its original position in 1994 where it stood looking at the sunrise on the equinox over the large central monoliths. It now serves as a plaque stand at the entrance to the nature reserve.
calendar site
Although it is badly eroded, the original circular form of the calendar site can still be seen on this satellite image, with the 2 main monoliths at its centre. The north-south deviation can also be immediately seen as the north marker slants slightly to the left of 12 o’clock. It was measure do be 3 degrees, 17 minutes and 43 sec.
mysterious ancient stone ruins
One of the many mysterious ancient stone ruins that seems to have a greater purpose in its design. The Phi factor of 1,618 seems to be well used in this and other structures’ dimensions.
ancient energy grid
A small section of the ancient energy grid that stretches more than 450,000 km square linked by the ancient channels that can be clearly seen from the air. This kind detail is not at all visible to observers on the ground.
Ancient terraces
Ancient terraces surround large complex structures and cover more than 450,000 km square.

For more information about my research and presentations please see my website

www.michaeltellinger.com


Biography

Michael Tellinger is a scientist, researcher, and regular guest on more than 200 radio shows in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, such as Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the Shirley Maclaine Show. In March 2011 he hosted the Megalithomania Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, featuring Graham Hancock, Andrew Collins, and Robert Temple. He lives in South Africa.

www.michaeltellinger.com

www.slavespecies.com

Youtube Videos with Michael Tellinger




Snowden Explains Why We Miss Aliens’ Messages: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

aliens_above

Edward Snowden said that encryption is probably the only thing stopping us from talking to aliens. He joined Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk podcast in early September 2015, and revealed that he thinks aliens might be sending out signals right now, but they’d be impossible to detect. This is not the first time Snowden, or files that he’s leaked have addressed issues surrounding extraterrestrial life.

Here’s what you need to know –

1. There’s Only a Small Window in Technological Development When We’d Be Able to Decipher Alien Signals

Snowden alien signals

According to Snowden, there is only a small period of time when technology is open enough that we would actually be able to interpret the alien signals, The Week reported. This is during the small window when society sends messages by the most primitive, unprotected means that don’t require decryption. After this window passes, messages are indecipherable.

2. Snowden Said That For the Most Part, We’d Never Recognize Alien Signals Today Because of Encryption

Snowdon

Edward Snowden has a really good theory as to why we’ve never heard from aliens

Once a society reaches the phase where it starts protecting and encrypting its messages, then messages sent out into space would be indistinguishable from microwave background radiation, Snowden continued. That is because the alien equivalent of television shows, for example, would be encrypted by default and thus appear completely random, The Guardian reported.  He said:

So when we think about everything that we’re hearing through our satellites or everything that they’re hearing from our civilization (if there are indeed aliens out there), all of their communications are encrypted by default…

Does this mean that a society could not choose to send out a broadcast that was purposefully not encrypted?

3. Iran Claimed Leaked Snowden Documents Showed the USA Was Run By Aliens

Iran snowden alien

This is not the first time that Snowden has been connected with questions about alien communications, sometimes to an almost comic effect. Last year, Iran’s semi-official news agency, FARS, claimed that it had obtained leaked Snowden documents that revealed the United States government was run by “tall white aliens,” The National Journal reported. The report was almost taken word-for-word from a conspiracy blog. Snowden himself said that he did not bring any secret documents to Russia, which is where the Iran agency claimed it obtained the information. The report was heavy on the science fiction, with claims that an Iranian had built a time machine and that 80 species of aliens were on Earth, getting ready to wage interplanetary war.

4. Leaked Snowden Documents Did Show the Government Will Use Alien Conspiracies to Distract From Real Secrets

Snowden UFO leaked document

There was at least one authenticated leaked Snowden document that actually did relate to aliens, Yahoo reported. Slides of mysterious flying saucers were seen among the documents leaked by the NSA whistleblower. But these were connected to a series of reports detailing how the United States government might discredit someone by connecting them to alien sightings or might distract from a secret aircraft project by releasing faked photos of UFOs.

5. Researchers Are Also Looking Into a Series of Strange Radio Signals As Possible Communication

parkes observatory telescope

Although Snowden believes that deciphering alien signals is impossibly difficult, others don’t agree. New Scientist reported that scientists working with the Parkes telescope in Australia are studying a series of fast-radio bursts since 2001. The sounds come from far outside the galaxy, from something relatively small, and don’t fit cosmic physics patterns, leading some to believe they may alien communications and not natural.

All the bursts are multiples of a single number, 187.5. If the patterns continue to hold, they could indicate either a new physics, such as a new type of pulsar, or an alien beacon of some sort.

Rockwall – An American Secret

A rectangular wall found more than 100 years ago in Texas, may be an antediluvian remnant.

1930's excavation

Most people living in Rockwall Texas do not even know that their city is named after an ancient Rock Wall City complete with the skull of a giant that was found while some people were digging a well looking for a water a long time ago. The Wall is an almost perfect rectangle 4 miles wide and 7 miles encompassing more than 20 square miles long with most of the wall being buried. The top of the wall at all outcroppings found to date have a uniform elevation of 550 ft. above mean sea level. Most Rockwall residents do not know about this wall.
oldwall first
map of rockwallOf the early settlers, there were three Newcomers, T.U. Wade, B.F. Boydston and a Mr. Stevenson that had arrived to establish a farming community. In 1852, T.U. Wade and his family began building their house on the east side of the east fork of the Trinity River valley near the western edge of the present townsite of Rockwall which is just north of today’s Highway 66.

In the process of digging the homestead well, Mr. Wade hit a stone formation. Further digging and investigation discovered a “rock wall” below the surface which ran at an extended length. Before digging the well, they dug a shaft through a cross section of this larger wall, but the stones were wet and so heavy, after about thirty feet, they abandoned the work of drawing the stones out of the shaft.

They directed the remainder of the shaft to the outside of the wall to complete a well. At about thirty- five feet down they discovered an almost perfect square opening through the wall, which has been referred to as a “window.”

The opening was two feet square, in a two foot section of the wall. The total depth of the shaft was forty-two feet, but they did not find the bottom of the structure.

At the time, Stevenson, Boydston and Wade were at odds with each other, each wanting to name the town after themselves. On the discovery of the “rock wall” they decided to name the town Rockwall and resolve their differences.

The following is information gathered from Mary Pattie (Wade) Gibson, granddaughter of T.U. Wade, founder of the wall at the Rockwall County Historical Foundation. She described the additional digging her grandfather and other men did at the homesite.

oldwall

child with wall bwIn this description were cubicles or rooms constructed of stone which you could walk through and would reach a corridor which seemed to run in a direction into the hill that the town square sits above.

She told of an incident in 1906 of two unidentified men digging out the corridor which had apparently been filled with erosion. Their intent was to reach a room or cavity under the town which would be full of gold, apparently derived in part from Indian legend.

The ceiling of the corridor had steep slopes (describing a Gothic type arched ceiling, much like the Mayans built), and the further into the corridor the two men excavated the steeper the slope of the ceiling became, consequently, the men fearful of a structural failure abandoned their search for gold.
12391074_787407921371154_6351281525737263291_n
Mary Pattie Gibson also spoke that her grandfather’s exploration of the wall, discovered on the outside, the wall went straight down. On the inside she described the wall going down to about forty feet, curves inward and becomes much thicker.

This sounded like a buttress effect that has been used to support high standing structures and implies direction and transfer of liveloads.
postcard
Additional information provided by the daughter of the late Mr. Deweese, an early settler of Rockwall, who described a doorway with a diagonal shaped stone in the wall at the Wade residence on Highway 66. This portion of the wall was open to visitors from 1936 until the late 1940’s, and was consequently back filled because of dangerous structural conditions.

markings on stoneIn 1949, a Mr. Sanders of Fort Worth, Texas, did an excavation of the wall. From this excavation four large stones were brought up with the largest weighing approximately two tons. On these stones were found inscriptions with what appear to be pictographs.

These extremely dense stones have been underground, therefore erosion has not been the cause of the designs on them, Moreover, there are no other stones or portions of the wall with inscriptions or diagrams that have been discovered to date. (J. Glenn, 1950)

There are other reports of doorways or windows found in the wall through the past 100 years such as reported in the Dallas Morning News, 5 November 1967 by Frank X. Tolbert, “Back in the 1920’s, T.H. Meredith said a well was dug on his farm just east of the town of Rockwall, and Mr. Meredith declared that the digging went along side a masonry wall which seemed to have an arch over a doorway or window.”
section of wall 3
metal ringMetal rings were found at the site which were composed of Tin, Titanium and Iron, embedded in the rock.  You can see it in the photo at left, just above the pick axe.

Quotes from scientists who are presently involved with or have inspected the excavation and research to date of effort to expose the “Rockwall”:
“The exposed wall is quite spectacular to see first hand and determining its origin, genesis and age invokes a number of exciting research opportunities that can certainly advance our understanding of this type of phenomena.

The most important fact, however, is the point that geologists actually do not know the precise processes that created this feature; and, therefore, a systematic and detailed study of a section of the wall has the potential to expand our knowledge and reveal new data not considered heretofore”
Randall Moir Ph.D Archaeologist – Dallas, Texas.

section of wall2

“It is good when examples like Rockwall appear that test our abilities and cause us to question basic Newtonian Mechanistic assumptions that have not been modified for over 150 years. Physics had to abandon this approach at the turn of this century, opting instead for relativity and quantum mechanics in order to further their understanding of matter and the universe.

These two theories are currently undergoing radical revision behind the scenes because of new discoveries that do not fit that paradigm. We would do well to embrace the new physics to help us explain things that we have swept beneath the rug for too long before we lose all credibility.”

James (Bud) Shelton Geologist – New Orleans, La.

facestone

Carved stone face found at site.

holes from rings clip1

A video about the Rockwall

 

Written by Chad Riley

Sources:
http://www.anarchaeology.com/quivira/rockwall/

https://www.forbiddenhistory.info/?q=node%2F45

http://planetrockwall.com/news/article/the_giant_skull_a_rockwall_mystery

http://s8int.com/WordPress/2012/04/16/more-on-the-mystery-of-rockwall-texas-aaron-judkins-and-joe-taylor-on-site/

http://planetrockwall.com/news/article/mysteries_of_the_rock_wall

http://www.slideshare.net/stevecamo1/correx-giant-texas-skull

https://manvsarchaeology.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/the-rock-wall-phenomenon/

http://www.tgbnews.com/2015/01/giant-skeleton-of-man-18-feet-tall.html

http://s8int.com/page22.html

New Artifact-Filled Chambers Revealed under Teotihuacan

Tunnel-under-pyramid-in-Teotihucan
Big news in the archaeology world:
In 2003, torrential rains exposed the mouth of a previously unknown tunnel near the Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan, in central Mexico. Feathered Serpent excavation

Now, more than a decade later, researchers have reached the end of the 340’ (103m) tunnel (illustration) that runs about 60’ below the Temple. Finds from the tunnel (including the figure shown in the photo above) include engraved conch shells, amber fragments, mirrors, greenstone statues, ear spools, seeds, worked stone, beads, bones of animals and humans, mysterious clay spheres coated with a yellow mineral – over 50,000 pieces in all.

teo-feathered-serpentThe photo (left) shows the outside of the structure. A section added around 400 AD obscures the original façade (photo) featuring the feathered serpents that gave the structure its name. Archaeologists debate the significance of the figures. One set seems to be a realistic serpent while the other is a more blocky stylized creature sometimes identified at Tall, the storm god. However, Karl Taube, Mary Ellen Miller, and Michael Coe have said it is more likely a “war serpent” or “fire serpent.” At one time, the circles were filled with obsidian pieces that would have caught the sunlight.

<Teo feathered serpent Teotihuacan Facade_of_the_Temple_of_the_Feathered_Serpent

Many people label the new finds in the tunnel under the temple extravagant, gruesome, mysterious. Yet, when viewed next to teotihuacan-facade_of_the_temple_of_the_feathered_serpent

earlier finds from Teotihuacan and those of other cities in the area, the new discoveries seem very consistent. It’s their purpose that remains a mystery.

Where and What is Teotihuacan?

Teotihuacan, Maya, Olmec, Mixtec.  – The site is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City.

teo-maya-olmec-map Teotihuacan is a world-famous archaeological site north of Mexico City, known for its massive pyramids, its precise layout, and the mystery surrounding its birth, its death, and a lot of what happened in between. We don’t know exactly who started this city around 150 BC, why these people embarked on an almost constant monumental building effort from 150 BC to around 250 AD, or what led to the sacking and burning of the city around 550 AD.

teotihuacan-view_from_pyramide_de_la_luna<Teotihuacan View_from_Pyramide_de_la_luna

Adding to the mystery is the lack of any written records. Either the people who burned the city also burned any written materials, or there simply weren’t any. It’s hard to imagine people designing and building such precise, massive structures without a written record, but none have appeared so far in the excavations.

At its height, the city center covered 19 square miles (32 square kilometers) and served a population of 25,000 to 150,000, depending on what source you read, making it the largest city in the Western Hemisphere at the time. Its military power and cultural influence spread throughout central Mexico, out into the Yucatan Peninsula and down into Guatemala.

On the other hand, Teotihuacan also borrowed from earlier and contemporary cultures in Mexico, especially the Olmec, Maya, and Mixtec. The very deliberate, celestially aligned design of earlier Olmec cities like La Venta and Tres Zapotes, with clusters of mounds and central plazas, found its greatest expression in Teotihuacan.

teo-olmec-mask<Olmec mask

Olmec masks like the one in the photo (left) provided inspiration for the artisans of Teotihuacan. The one shown in the photo (right) came from the newly excavated tunnel under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Teotihuacan mask Olmec greenstone masks and figures were a few of many cultural features absorbed into the Teotihuacan culture.

Maya and Mixtec cosmology from contemporary cities also found its way into Teotihuacan culture, as did the value placed on items like fine ceramics and greenstone.

But whatever earlier cities contributed to Teotihuacan, the Teotihuacanos exaggerated. Pyramids became gigantic. The Pyramid of the Sun, (photo, below) the most massive building on the site, stands 233.6’ (71.2 m) tall, and 733.2’ (223.5 m) long and wide, a huge, commanding construction even today. With its decorative plaster coating and top-most temple long gone, it now has the severe look of a multi-national corporate headquarters, a symbol of complete, collective, threatening, and unemotional power.

Pyramid_of_the_SunPyramid of the Sun

The whole site was so impressive to the Aztecs who moved into the area 600 years after Teotihuacan was abandoned that they considered it a holy place, a place where gods walked. Even the Spanish conquistadors didn’t destroy it. Its major damage has come from looters, both private and institutional, and from the ravages of time.

great_goddessSpiritual Beliefs

Murals painted in upper class Teotihuacan living areas have provided important clues about the people’s spiritual beliefs, especially veneration of a figure often called the Great Goddess, who is associated with the sacred mountain visible from the site, called Cerro Gordo (Fat Mountain), as well as water flowing from the mountain, rivers and rain, fertility and new growth.

<Teotihuacan-Great_Goddess

In the mural shown, the central figure (and the only one shown in the frontal view reserved for deities) has a bird face/mask with a strange mouth that might represent an owl or a spider. Out of the green feather headdress a twisting plant grows – perhaps a hallucinogenic morning glory vine. Circles (sometimes interpreted as mirrors), spiders and butterflies decorate the vine. Flowers sprout from its tips. Birds appear, some with sound scrolls, which probably indicate songs. From the figure’s outstretched hands, drops of water fall. Her torso splits into curling rolls filled with flowers and plants. From the bottom, under an arch of stars, seeds fall toward the border, which is a series of waves carrying stars and underwater creatures.

The figures shown in profile on the right and left of the Great Goddess carry what look like medicine bundles/offerings in one hand. From their other hand water emerges, as well as a cascade of seeds and circles. The entire background is a deep blood red. Karl Taube has related the circles to mirrors that appear in the creation story in which the sun shoots an arrow into the house of mirrors. The serpent, then released, fertilizes the earth. Thus, he argues, the serpent appears on the façade of the Temple of the Feathered Serpent surrounded by a headdress of mirrors.

tepantitla_mountain_stream_mura<Teotihuacan Tepantitla_Mountain_Stream_mura

The panel below the picture of the Great Goddess shows bands of water emerging from a mountain around which red, blue, and yellow human figures swim, interact (sing? dance?) and float among butterflies while plants sprout along a snake-like band of water. Interestingly, for a city known for its militarism and bloody sacrifices, the scene looks idyllic.

Some experts suggest that the Great Goddess figure was borrowed from the earlier Olmec figure recorded in a petroglyph at Chalcatzingo that shows a woman seated in a cave from which water flows. Outside the cave, maize plants sprout as male rain falls. (Photo, left; illustration, right)

chalcatzingo-petroglyph<Chalcatzingo petroglyph Chalcatzingo_Monument drawing

Others point to the Maya water deity Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, rain, surface chalcatzingo_monument-drawingwaters, weaving and childbirth, sometimes called the Midwife of Creation. (shown as a young woman in the illustration below).

Maya Ixchel Maiden

In her role as Mother Goddess and weaver, she set the universe in motion through the movement of her drop spindle. She was also called the Spider’s Web because she caught the morning dew in her web and made the drops into stars. However, she had two sides: the young woman and the old crone. She was both healer and destroyer, bringing about the destruction of the third creation through a terrible flood and then helping to birth the new age.

teo-maya-ixchel-maidenOf course, all of these interpretations have their detractors. Karl Taube interprets the entire site as an exaltation of sacred war. He says the circles found in the caches are related to the mirrors worn by warriors as well as to the house of mirrors from which the creator serpent originated in the creation story. The bodies found in the offertory caches might be captive warriors. His theory, however, doesn’t explain the significance of the murals.

Aztec water goddess Chalciuhtlicue

 Interestingly, the later Aztec water goddess Chalchiuhtilicue, who presides over running water and aids in childbirth, shares many features with the figure in the Teotihuacan murals painted hundreds of years earlier.

New Finds

So back to the amazing new discoveries –

The excavated section of the newly excavated tunnel under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent has 18 walls scattered throughout the length of the tunnel in a zigzag pattern, which archaeologists believe were used to seal off the tunnel on previous occasions. So this same route had been used many times before for some purpose, yet this was the last time. After this offering was placed, the tunnel was purposely filled and sealed.

tunnel_grid_search<Teotihuacan tunnel

Gomez feels going down the tunnel and leaving offerings probably had a ritual purpose. The original city was built over a four-chambered lava tube cave. In Mesoamerican cultures, caves were considered portals to the Underworld and the places of emergence at the time of creation. Perhaps, Gomez said, the trip into the tunnel provided the ritual power needed for a new leader. (Photo shows recent discovers in the tunnel, including greenstone figures in the foreground, dozens of conch shells, and plain pottery.

teo-shells-and-pots

 

 

Or the trip into the tunnel could have been a pilgrimage, a way to make contact with powerful spirit forces. Following the pattern evident in so many religious rituals around the world, the supplicant may have offered sacrifices in order to recognize the gods’ power and to seek their help.

A Survey of Discoveries

Back in 1982 and 1989, mass graves were found under and near the same Temple of the Feathered Serpent. The sites, dated to the period the temple was constructed, about 150 AD, included 137 people who’d been sacrificed with their hands tied behind their backs. They were accompanied by cut and engraved shells from the Gulf Coast (150 miles away), obsidian blades, slate disks, mirrors, ear spools, and a greenstone figurine with pyrite eyes. A hundred years later, people left very similar offerings in the tunnel.

In 1999, a burial site was discovered within the Pyramid of the Moon. That site yielded 150 burial offerings, including obsidian blades and points, greenstone figures, pyrite mirrors, conch and other shells, and the remains of eight birds of prey and two jaguars. Again, these are very similar offerings.

The male buried in the tomb under the Pyramid of the Moon was bound and executed, which seems to make it a sacrifice rather than a memorial. All of the human bodies found so far have been sacrificed. Some were decapitated, some had their hearts removed, others were bludgeoned to death. Some wore necklaces of human teeth. Sacred animals were also sacrificed: jaguars, eagles, falcons, owls, even snakes.

The 2014 discoveries, like the others, have been extravagant and gruesome. Some of the precious objects discovered in the tunnel include arrowheads, obsidian, amber, four large greenstone statues, pottery, dozens of conch shells, a wooden box of shells, animal bones and hair, skin, dozens of plain pottery jars, 15,000 seeds, 4,000 wooden objects, rubber balls, pyrite mirrors, crystal spheres, jaguar remains, even clay balls covered in yellow pigment (shown in photo). And some came quite a distance – conch shells from the Gulf of Mexico, jade from Guatemala, rubber balls from Olmec or Maya sites.

Teotihuacan yellow orbs

teo-yellow-orbsWhile this team, like the earlier ones, hopes to find a royal burial, as of this moment, they haven’t. So far, this too seems to be an offertory cache. The difference is that this moment doesn’t mark the building of a new pyramid; it marks the effective end of construction. Some event required this extravagant offering. While some think this cache might be the remains of a huge feast marking a great funerary and sacrificial ceremony, a tunnel 60’ underground seems an odd place for a celebration.

The timing suggests the event was more than the death of an old ruler or the ascension of a new ruler who needed the spiritual trappings of leadership. It looks as if the city faced a crisis – perhaps weather changes, disease, internal strife, or some other threat. At this critical point, they might have turned to the Great Goddess, the one responsible for life and death and new life, to help revive the old strength that defined Teotihuacan. Indeed, the murals featuring the Great Goddess as the provider of joyful, abundant life were painted about the same time.

According to Mary Ellen Miller’s book The Art of Mesoamerica, “Constant rain and water crises at Teotihuacan exacerbated the difficulty of building and maintaining the city. The preparation of lime for mortar and stucco requires vast amounts of firewood to burn limestone or seashells, and the more Teotihuacan grew, the more the surrounding forests were depleted. With deforestation came soil erosion, drought, and crop failure. In response, Teotihuacan may have erected ever more temples and finished more paintings thus perpetuating the cycle.”

Whether this environmental degradation from both drought and flood was the crisis that precipitated the offering or only part of it, we don’t know. However, if crops failed, the power structure would soon fail as well.

A Similar Case

In 1200 AD, a terrible drought in what is now Arkansas (USA) drove people to bring their precious stone pipes, engraved shell cups, stone maces, projectile points, and colorful woven tapestries to the site of a new mound to be constructed. They chanted and sang and danced and said prayers after they built high walls and a domed roof around the offering chamber. “They gathered at Spiro,” George Sabo, director of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey said, “brought sacred materials, and arranged them in a very specific way in order to perform a ritual intended to reboot the world.”

Perhaps that’s also what the Teotihuacanos tried to do.*

 

Article source:  MisFitsAndHeroes.wordpress.com/tag/discoveries-at-teotihuacan/

The Mind Boggling Ellora Caves and Kailasa Temple

Mind-boggling: Thousands of years ago, the ancients carved THIS temple out of a mountain

 This article first appeared in ancient-code.com and is written by Ivan Petricevic

Bacteria Discovered Inside 1000-Year-Old Incan Mummies Is Resistant To Modern Antibiotics

Ancient Bacteria

Scientists have discovered a gut bacteria inside 1,000-year-old Incan mummies. The bacteria is resistant to modern antibiotics even though the drugs were discovered within the last 100 years.

This surprising discovery was made when scientists examined the DNA within the guts of three Incan mummies dating back to between the 10th and 14th centuries and six mummified people from Italy, from between the 15th and 18th centuries.
According to Tasha Santiago-Rodriguez of California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Opisbo and her team that conducted the study this ancient bacteria is resistant to almost all modern antibiotics, including penicillin, vancomycin and tetracycline.
These ancient genes were largely in microbes whose resistance is problematic today, including Enteroccocus bacteria that can infect wounds and cause urinary tract infections. But they found that many other species, including some harmless ones, carried some of these resistant genes too.

“When you think about it, almost all these antibiotics are naturally produced, so it makes sense to find antibiotic genes as well,” says Santiago-Rodriguez.
The finding shows that genes that can confer resistance to antibiotics were relatively widespread hundreds of years before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.
“It’s ridiculous to think evolution of antibiotic resistance began when penicillin was discovered. It’s been going on for 2 billion years,” said team-member Raul Cano, also at California Polytechnic State University.

 

bacteria-resistant

“This is exciting data. While it is already well known that antibiotic resistance occurred naturally before people started using antibiotics, this study shows that resistance genes were already within the human gut long before we started using these drugs.
It begs the question of what was selecting for these genes at this time? Was it the natural production of antibiotics by other bacteria, or were there other, as yet unknown forces at play?” says Adam Roberts, who studies antibiotic resistance genes at University College London.
According to the scientists, these genes existed long before antibiotics became common, but it is our overuse of these drugs in both people and livestock that caused the superbug resistance to explode worldwide.*

 

Source: MessagetoEagle.com – Orig. Article: Archaeology.com     (07-09-2016)

 

Skeleton with stone-encrusted teeth found in Mexico ancient ruins

Skull

Archeologists who found the 1,600-year-old skeleton near Mexico’s ancient Teotihuacan, said the woman was 35-40 when she died with intentionally deformed skull and teeth encrusted with mineral stones (AFP Photo/HO)
Mexico City (AFP) – Archeologists have discovered the 1,600-year-old skeleton of an upper-class woman whose skull was intentionally deformed and teeth were encrusted with mineral stones near Mexico’s ancient ruins of Teotihuacan.

Teeth

The woman, between 35 and 40 years old when she died, was buried with 19 jars that served as offerings, the National Anthropology and History Institute said.

Her cranium was elongated by being compressed in a “very extreme” manner, a technique commonly used in the southern part of Mesoamerica, not the central region where she was found, the institute said in a statement.

Although other intentionally deformed skeletons have been found in Teotihuacan, this one — dubbed “The Woman of Tlailotlacan” after the neighborhood where it was found — is among those with the most deformations.

Another distinctive feature, showing the woman was a “foreigner” in Teotihuacan, is the two round pyrite stones encrusted in her top front teeth, a technique used in Mayan regions in southern Mexico and Central America.

She also wore a prosthetic lower tooth made of a green stone known as serpentine.

The enigmatic pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Mexico City, thrived between the first and eighth centuries, after which its civilization vanished.

Its two majestic Sun and Moon pyramids are major tourist attractions.*

 

Source: AFP – YahooNews     (07-07-2016)

Do you know that if you linked together all the Inca roads…

 …it would almost wrap around the     circumference of our entire planet?

the-inca-empire

THE INCA ROAD SYSTEM WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE AND ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN PRE-COLUMBIAN SOUTH AMERICA.

The network was based on two north-south roads with numerous branches. The best known portion of the road system is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

The eastern route ran high in the puna grasslands and mountain valleys from Quito, Ecuador to Mendoza, Argentina. The western route followed the coastal plain not including in coastal deserts where it hugged the foothills.

The Inca road system linked together about 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi) of roadway and provided access to over 3,000,000 square kilometres (1,200,000 sq mi) of territory.

When you consider that the Earth’s circumference is 40,075 km, the road network could almost encircle the entire planet!*….. Source: www.HeritageDaily.com

 

More about the Inca Engineering:

The Inca Road System 

The Inca road system formed a network known as the royal highway or qhapaq ñan, which became an invaluable part of the Inca empire, not only facilitating the movement of armies, people, and goods but also providing an important physical symbol of imperial control. Across plains, deserts, and mountains, the network connected settlements and administrative centres. Well-built and lasting, many roads included bridges, causeways, stairways, and also had small stations (chaskiwasi) and sometimes larger, more luxurious complexes (tambos) dotted along every 20 km or so, where travellers could spend the night and refresh.

2000px-Inca_roads

The Inca road system formed a network known as the royal highway or qhapaq ñan, which became an invaluable part of the Inca empire, not only facilitating the movement of armies, people, and goods but also providing an important physical symbol of imperial control. Across plains, deserts, and mountains, the network connected settlements and administrative centres. Well-built and lasting, many roads included bridges, causeways, stairways, and also had small stations (chaskiwasi) and sometimes larger, more luxurious complexes (tambos) dotted along every 20 km or so, where travellers could spend the night and refresh.

Inca Roads

<Inca road and bridge

ENGINEERING METHODS & MATERIALS

Inca roads were built without the benefit of sophisticated surveying equipment using only wooden, stone, andbronze tools. As they were built in different geographical zones using local populations, the roads are, consequently, not uniform in construction design or materials. The width of most roads varies from one to four metres, although some could be much bigger, such as the 15-metre wide highway in the Huánuco Pampa province. Sometimes there are also two or three roads constructed in parallel, especially near the larger urban centres. Flattened road beds – often raised – were usually made using packed earth, sand, or grass. The more important roads were finished with precisely arranged paving stones or cobbles. Roads were typically edged and protected with small stone walls, stone markers, wooden or cane posts, or piles of stones. Drainage was provided by frequent drains and culverts, which drew off rainwater from the road surface, channelling it either along or under the road. When crossing wetlands, roads were often supported by buttress walls or built on causeways. Bridges of stone or reeds were also constructed to cover distances in a more direct route as were large, stone, llama-friendly staircases in mountainous terrain. There was even an appointed official, the Chaka Suyuyuq, responsible for inspecting the empire’s bridges.

Generally, and despite their reputation for Roman-like long straight roads, Inca roads tended to follow natural contours as the straight stretches of road are rarely more than a few kilometres long. It is also noteworthy that Inca roads are very often more elaborate and well-constructed than was actually necessary. This attention to detail was almost certainly in order to impress travellers and conquered peoples of the superiority of Inca culture as felt by the lords of Cuzco.

Surely one of the most impressive sights and showcases for Inca engineering must have been the many rope suspension bridges which crossed perilous ravines. These were built using braids of reed or grass rope with wooden and fibre flooring. Perhaps the most famous crossed the Apurimac River near Cuzco and measured 45 metres in length. Suspension bridges were often built in pairs perhaps with one bridge for commoners and one for nobles. An alternative to such bridges was the oroya, a suspended basket which transported two or three people at a time over a greater distance than could be reached with a rope bridge. Local populations were given the responsibility of maintaining these perishable structures each year as part of their imperial tribute.

An Inca Road Rest Station

Inca test stn

ROAD USERS

The extensive reach of the road network allowed the Incas to better move armies across their territories in order to further expand the empire or maintain order within it. Trade goods and tribute from conquered peoples – both goods and people – could also be easily transported to and from the major Inca centres, typically using llama caravans and porters (there were no wheeled vehicles). Inca administrative officials also travelled along the roads in order to dispense justice or maintain records such as local agricultural production, tribute quotas, and censuses. Ordinary people were not permitted to use the roads for private purposes unless they had official permission. They also sometimes had to pay tolls for the privilege, especially at bridges.

Another interesting feature of Inca roads was the use of runners (chaski or chasquis). Moving as fast as they could, they operated in relays, passing information to a fresh runner stationed every six to nine kilometres. However, it was not only messages that were carried between population centres but also such perishable items as fresh fish and seafood for the tables of Inca nobles. With this system, information (and fish) could travel up to 240 km in a single day. Messages carried over long distances would have involved hundreds of oral exchanges, and to preserve the correct meaning of the original message, quipu – a coded assembly of strings and knots – were probably used to help the memory of the runners.

LEGACY

Many sections of the Inca road network survive today and are still used by pedestrians, especially near such sites as Machu Picchu, where large stone stairways and bridges give access to the site for modern tourists. In addition, some of the original Inca routes have had modern roads built directly over them, illustrating the skills and vision for crossing terrain and distances possessed by Inca engineers and road builders.*

 

Source Article by   – Contributor:  www.ancient.eu

 

Secret tunnel sealed 1,800 years ago offers clues to mysterious ancient city in Mexico

Mexiko 2006; Mexico City

The ancient city of Teotihuacán northeast of Mexico City in Mexico holds more mysteries than answers. Archaeologists can only guess where the people who built the city came from, what religion they practiced, and why they abandoned the city. But the recent archaeological discovery of a tunnel under one of the city’s pyramids, the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, which was sealed off around 1,800 years ago, may give us a few more clues about who inhabited and built the baffling city.

Archaeologist Sergio Gómez, who works for the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico, has worked in the area for around 30 years. He describes himself as someone more intimately acquainted with Teotihuacán than most other humans alive. But he had no idea there was anything under the Temple of the Plumed Serpent until a rainstorm struck the area in 2003.

That’s when Gómez noticed a sinkhole that had opened near the base of the pyramid. Colleagues lowered him into the sinkhole and his feet touched bottom in what looked like a tunnel made by humans. Gómez finally gained approval from the government to start digging in 2009.

The tunnel appears to have been sealed off with boulders on purpose close to 1,800 years ago. Gómez thought perhaps whoever sealed the tunnel meant for it to remain closed forever. His teams have worked carefully to uncover a wide array of artifacts, from human skin to boxes containing beetle wings to jaguar bones to elegantly carved statues.

tunnel_grid_searchThe tunnel is a thrilling discovery, and Gómez’s teams will keep working to probably uncover even more treasures. Gómez told Smithsonian Magazine, “The number of artifacts we’ve uncovered…you could spend a whole career evaluating the contents.”

teotihuacan_figures

Perhaps as far back as 400 BC, people settled in Teotihuacán, but residents probably built the metropolis, including pyramids and broad boulevards, around 100 A.D. Around 750 A.D. Teotihuacán was abandoned.

teotihuacan_Close

The Aztecs didn’t find the city until sometime in the 1300s, and in their language, Nahuatl, Teotihuacán means “the place where men become gods,” adding another layer of mystery.*

 

Author:   Contributor:   Inhabitat.com

 

Tucume: The Largest Pyramid Complex in the World

Tucume

Once thought to be natural formations, we now know the extremely weathered formations in Tacume are indeed ancient pyramids.

Batan-Grande-1.8Batan Grande

Peru is rapidly becoming the capital of the pyramid world. Not only does it have the oldest officially recorded pyramid in the world (Caral), with each archaeologist’s spade dig, more pyramid complexes are uncovered.
Near the city of Sipan is one of the major pyramid concentrations of Southern America: the pyramids of Tucume, known as “the Valley of the Pyramids”. The Lambayeque Valley is the largest valley of the North Coast of Peru, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. It has no less than three pyramid cities, which together have a stunning total of 250 pyramids. The three cities were built in succession of each other, each abandoned before a new one was built.
The first is known as Pampa Grande and was built between 600 and 750 AD. In 700 AD, the pyramid of Pampa Grande, known as Huaca Fortaleza, was built, reaching fifty metres high, and measuring 200 metres in width. Though much of the structure remains intact, visually, it is not all that impressive. The next complex was that of Batan Grande, built between 750 and 1100 AD. The city had 34 pyramids, including the Huaca de Oro (Pyramid of Gold), in front of which a series of royal tombs were located. The pyramids are now badly eroded, due to El Niño rains in 1982 and 1998. But the biggest destruction to the site was man-made when in ca. 1100 AD, the pyramid was burnt and the town abandoned, to be succeeded by Tucume, from 1100 AD until 1500 AD.
Tucume lies on the southern margin of the valley and is surrounded by fertile agricultural land, thanks to the Taymi canal, which brings water northwards from the Chancay River. The construction of the 43 km long canal coincided with the settlement of Tucume, around 1100 AD.
The 26 pyramids and mounds of Tucume are locally known as Purgatory. The local shamans still invoke its power and of the gods that once resided in these structures. Specifically, the gods lived in the mountains, but the pyramids were seen as replica mountains, in the hope of being able to work with the forces of nature. The local shamans are also the record keepers of the legends, including one legend recorded by Father Cabello de Balboa in 1586 AD. It relates how Cala, a grandson of Naymlap, the founder of the Lambayeque royal dynasty, declared that Tucume would become the new metropolis for his people. Cala seems to have been an exile from Batan Grande.

huaca_fortaleza

Huaca Fortaleza

Though there are 26 structures in total, most of the archaeological work is focused on the three main structures: the Huaca Larga, Huaca One and the U-shaped “Temple of the Sacred Stone”. The Huaca Larga, or the Long Pyramid, is the longest adobe structure known to date. It measures 700 metres in length, from the foot of La Raya Mountain to the short, straight access ramp on the north end. It is 280 metres wide, and thirty metres tall. Originally, it was a freestanding platform, but it was remodelled into is current shape by adding the step pyramid on top. Long corridors and dividing walls partition the complex, and researchers have identified a northern, possibly public, ceremonial area and a southern area devoted to cooking and manufacturing.
All buildings of this period, which marks the Chimú domination of the area, were painted in the colours red, white and black. The walls were decorated, one mural depicting flying birds in the “Temple of the Mythical Bird” stands out from the rest. Apparently, the Chimú tried to convert Huaca Larga into a structure that resembled the vast adobe city of Chan Chan, found near Trujillo.

Though Tucume is now properly analysed, it went largely unrecognized until Thor Heyerdahl’s interest was ignited by the complex in 1988. Heyerdahl and his team interpreted the cultural significance of their findings, the greater implications of the architectural site, the fascinating pyramid structures, and impressive artefacts uncovered. The most exciting discoveries are linked to Heyerdahl’s inquiry regarding possible ocean travel and boatbuilding by early inhabitants of Tucume. Among the finds were stunning friezes depicting birdmen piloting reed boats amid anthropomorphic waves.
Thor Heyerdahl explored the pyramids of Tucume personally and his team opened forty tombs. So many artefacts were uncovered that a museum was built at Tucume. Four burial chambers were found in the 600 meter long Huaca Larga pyramid. Inside these chambers, the bodies of nineteen female weavers, between the ages of ten and thirty and because of their ages assumed to have been sacrificed, were found. These date from the Inca period (1470-1532 AD). The weaving of delicate textiles, an activity that the Inca often entrusted to consecrated women, was therefore practiced at Huaca Larga and may well date back to what archaeologists have labelled Chimu period (1100-1400 AD). It underlines that though archaeologists and historians have neatly divided Peruvian history in various “cultures”, the sites show continuity in use, with one culture not abandoning a sacred site and constructing its own, but merely “taking over” the management of the site.

Ancient_TucumeHuaca Larga

In Tucume, it would take about 2000 people per year to make bricks for one pyramid. It would therefore take thousands of people to complete one pyramid, but there are no less than 26 in total in Tucume alone, and more than 200 across the entire valley! Pyramid building would thus have been an all-consuming task for the people of this valley. It is also clear that the pyramids were built according to a strict master plan.
The pyramids were not tombs. The tops of most pyramids were flat and there were either rooms in or along the path upwards. Some of the rooms contained food remains, like llama and large fish, traditionally assumed to be the food of the wealthy. There was an oven with charcoal, all suggestive of the fact that people lived here for long periods of times. On top of one pyramid, the remains of a 35 year old man have been discovered. He wore jewellery and a feather headdress, clearly a member of a governing elite, either in a political and/or religious sense.
In a different room atop Huaca Larga, archaeologists discovered three male burials, one of them of a mature, robust man with insignia, suggesting he may have been the Inca governor of Tucume. Shortly after these burials took place, all standing structures on Huaca Larga were razed and huge fires were lit on top.

huaca_fortalezaOral history also recalls that enormous fires were lit by the Spanish colonists to convince the local population that Tucume was the gate to purgatory. As mentioned, Purgatorio (purgatory) is still the name by which the local people refer to the complex today. But despite this “Christian warning”, local shaman healers (“curanderos”) continue to invoke the power of Tucume and the central La Raya Mountain in their rituals, assisted by shamanic techniques and the psychoactive San Pedro cactus, holding weekly rituals which researchers believe have been going on since Inca times – if not before.
Like the Cerra Blanco hill at the Chan Chan complex, the Cerra La Raya forms the focus of this site. All 26 structures are built around this circular and cone-shaped hill, which rises 197 metres high and which is also known as “El Purgatorio”, or Cerro Purgatorio. Its official name, Cerra La Raya, is derived from a ray fish that according to legend lives within the hill.
It is clear that this hill was held sacred – and continues to be held sacred – and is at the core of why these structures were erected here. Access to the sacred mountain was originally restricted, as many cultures felt that humans should not enter the domain of the “apu”, the mountain god, though there is evidence of later Inca constructions on the hill, such as an altar site. That the mountain of the gods was off-limit to humans explains why the people “had” to build a pyramid – a replica mountain which they were allowed to access.

To fully understand the Tucume complex, we need to look at the “Temple of the Sacred Stone”, which is a small, unpretentious, rectangular U-shaped structure to the east of Huaca Larga. It is considered a major temple that pilgrims had to pass by before entering the complex. The walled roadway system of this section of the Lambayeque valley leads straight to this temple, and then onwards to Huaca Larga. The revered object of this temple appears to have been a large, upright boulder in the middle of the one-room building: the “sacred stone”. Archaeologists “officially” do not know what it represents, but in my humble opinion, it represents the “navel of the world”, identifying this site as a sacred centre. Such navel stones have been found in various religious centres throughout the ancient world, with the navel stone of Delphi probably the most famous example. As the Cerra La Raya was off-limits for humans, the “sacred stone” was used as the mountain’s physical presence in the sacred precinct, the only part of the apu that they were allowed to come close to, if not touch. The small “Piedra Sagrada” represented the larger omphalos of “Cerro Purgatorio”.
The identification of the site and the mountain with Purgatory is therefore probably not a coincidence. The Spanish Conquistadors probably understood the local rituals and compared them with their own Christian upbringing. Purgatory and fire go hand in hand in the Christian tradition, where purgatory is a state of existence, the domain of the dead who were with sin and where the fire purges the soul of its sin.
There are clear references to Purgatory in both the Old and the New Testaments. In 2 Macchabees 12: 43, 46 the Jewish practice of praying for the dead stated that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.” The sins of these dead were removed by what was believed to be a long, slow “simmer” of fire. St Cyprian and St Augustine spoke of purification by fire, which “purges away all sin by suffering.” Is it coincidence, or design, that elsewhere, pyramids – by their very name – are linked with fire? Let us also note that when one complex was abandoned, the structures on top of the pyramids were burnt, as if to literally obliterate the “sins” of a previous era and move to a new temple complex.
These fires would have been so intense that they would have been visible for miles, but there is no evidence of battles or invasions, not even of an army. The people who built the pyramids did it themselves and to themselves and archaeologists, like Bernarda Delgado, the Tucume Archaeology Director, do not know the reason why. Could it be that the reason was religious and linked with the New Fire Ceremony? It is clear that the inhabitants of these complexes burnt the top of the carefully built pyramids and then left. “Purging” the old site may indeed be the true answer to the burning of the complexes and the Spanish Conquistadors, in identifying the site as purgatory, may have understood far more than we would initially give them credit for.*

 

Source:  The Peruvian Valley of the Pyramids – Article By Philip Coppens

Note: Sections of this article were excerpted from “The New Pyramid Age”.