FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN MEXICO
MOST people today know about the Egyptian pyramids. In America, particularly in Mexico, archaeologists also found a lot of structures such as pyramids. Like their Egyptian “relatives”, the Mexican pyramids were built many centuries ago and is also shrouded in mystery.
Egyptian pyramid is a tomb, located inside a giant stone structures of the symmetrical shape. Internal transitions leading to the tomb is the most important part of the pyramid. Mexican is a pyramid consists of a large earthen pedestal with a temple on top, which leads to the outer staircase. With few exceptions the American pyramids are not tombs.
Teotihuacan — “city where the gods lived”
One of the most outstanding pyramid is in Teotihuacan. Located at a distance of 50 kilometers northeast of Mexico city, Teotihuacan to this day is a mystery to anthropologists and archaeologists. This ancient city was abandoned by its builders more than 500 years before the advent of the culture of the Aztecs. The city’s name translated from Nahuatl means “city of the gods” or “where men become gods”. Assume that this name was given to the city by the Aztecs, when they arrived there.
One of the editors of the magazine “national geographic”, George Stewart, explained that “Teotihuacan was the first truly urban centre in Western hemisphere. The city was founded around the turn of our era, existed about seven centuries and became a legend. In the heyday of the city, approximately in 500 ad, its population, according to some estimates, amounted to 125 000-200 000 people”.
Almost in the center of the city is huge, consisting of five terraces of the pyramid of the Sun, the size of the base of which 220 225 meters, and the height currently reaches 63 meters. To get to the top of the pyramid, you need to go over 240 degrees. To the North of this ancient city is the pyramid of the moon, a height of 40 meters. Once both of these main pyramids were crowned with temples.
In recent decades, these pyramids have become much known. But according to Stewart, “on the origin teotiuakana us almost nothing is known: what language they spoke, how organized their society and what led to his demise”.
Other pyramidal structures
Right in the heart of Mexico city is the main temple of the Aztecs. Pyramids is not visible, but you can see the remains of the pyramidal structures that served as a pedestal for the main temple. There archaeologists discovered two altars on which human sacrifices were offered.
Chichen Itza is one of the most frequently visited by tourists pyramidal structures in Mexico. Among the many ruins of ancient Maya settlements are the most affordable choice, since it is located near the city of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula. Although these buildings are situated on the territory of the Maya, their design shows that once there was a great influence of the Toltecs. Some buildings say about the extraordinary knowledge of builders in the field of mathematics and astronomy.
In Palenque, in the jungle of Chiapas, visitors can see the massive complex of buildings of the Maya. Among the many pyramids and buildings — the Palace and the Temple of the Inscriptions. The temple of the Inscriptions “one of the most famous temples in the whole of Mesoamerica, unlike other temples which have not only the pedestal, but the tomb is explained in the book “3000 years of Mayan civilization”.— Under the vault of the temple — the stairs leading to the magnificent tomb of Maya settlements” (“Los Mayas—3000 Años de Civilización”). The tomb was built for the ruler of the Mayan Empire — Pacal, or Oaxaca AAU,— who lived in the seventh century.
These are just some of the Mexican pyramids. Other pyramids and the remains of an ancient culture can be found in many parts of the country. In Guatemala and Honduras also have a giant pyramid. All these ancient buildings show that the inhabitants of Mesoamerica chose the hill and build there places of worship. Walter Krickeberg, the author of the book “Las Antiguas Culturas mfrom Mexico”, wrote: “the Tradition to build temples on stepped pedestals rooted in ancient custom to worship the gods on the heights”. He adds: “If the heavens seem to be dome, then other peoples they represented the mountain on which the sun rises in the morning and goes down at night, so the slopes of this mountain have the appearance of steps similar to the steps of the giant building. So “man-made mountain”. took the form of stepped pyramids and, according to the customs and legends of many peoples of Mesoamerica became a symbol of the sky”.
Those who search the Bible, such views are reminiscent of the biblical story of the tower of Babel who were in the city, later named Babylon. In Genesis 11:4 we read about the builders of this tower: “And they said, let us build us a city and a tower up to heaven and let us make us a name”. Near the ruins of Babylon, archaeologists found the remains of pyramids — called ziggurats.
The form of worship that emerged in Babylon, spread to many parts of the world, perhaps, to the territory now known as Mexico. Not surprisingly, if you find that the Babylonian ziggurats and religion practiced in the territory, was the inspiration for the mysterious and the magnificent Mexican pyramids.