Building in Mesoamerica

Why would the Maya, who had no dray animals or wheeled vehicles, bother to build paved roads through the jungle when a relatively narrow, primitive path would have served the needs of those traveling on foot? It seems to us a difficult enough job for the Inca to build stone roads throughout their empire, but the Maya took even greater pains by leveling their roads and then covering them with lime cement, a task requiring a tremendous amount of labor and maintenance in a jungle environment. Many of these roads connected sites such as Uaxactun with pyramids and were laid out in straight lines. A 60-mile line along a north-south axis paved with lime cement and painted white would have been clearly visible to an approaching spacecraft. We already know that the Great Pyramid can be seen from outside Earth's atmosphere, providing a readable target to vehicles flying in from outer space. (The Genesis Race)

Original high resolution side scan sonar images of large structures a half mile down
on the white sand sea floor off the western tip of Cuba, received by an ADC International, Inc.

ADC has also been exploring a string of underwater volcanoes about 5000 feet deep off Cuba's western tip, where millions of years ago a strip of land once joined the island to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Most intriguingly, researchers using sonar equipment have discovered, at a depth of about 2200 feet, a huge land plateau with clear images of what appears to be urban development partly covered by sand. From above, the shapes resemble pyramids, roads and buildings. 'It is stunning. What we see in our high resolution sonar images are limitless, rolling, white sand plains and, in the middle of this beautiful white sand, there are clear manmade large-size architectural designs. It looks like when you fly over an urban development in a plane and you see highways, tunnels and buildings,' Zelitsky said. 'We don't know what it is and we don't have the videotaped evidence of this yet, but we do not believe that nature is capable of producing planned symmetrical architecture, unless it is a miracle,' she added in an interview in her office at Tarara, along the coast east of Havana. The sonar images we have are very extensive, the structures extend over several kilometres. They're very large. Some as long as 400 metres. Some are up to 40 metres high. They're of different shapes. But there's a good deal of architectural symmetry. We've shown them to scientists in the US, Canada and Cuba...and they tell us that it's not geology, or that it's a great mystery... And we have very extensive bathymetry of that area as well, and it is very interesting that the shelf terraces down in even gradations. And it's obvious that if it is a major settlement of say a pre-classical or Atlantean nature, then the whole thing just sank, altogether, during some disastrous geological event. There are a couple of fault lines there, and an ancient volcano...It's off the coast of Cabo San Antonio, off the Western tip of Cuba...(Underworld)

Zelitsky passionately believes the megalithic structures her crew discovered 2310 feet below the ocean's surface could prove that a civilization lived thousands of years ago on an island or stretch of land joining the archipelago of Cuba with Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, about 120 miles away. The shapes on the sonar maps look like walls, rectangles, pyramids - rather like a town viewed from the window of an airplane flying overhead. (Underworld)

Now let's jump to the American continents and measure the distances between three religious centres of the ancient Mayas - Copan, La Venta, and Chichen Itza. Each of the sides of this triangle is 3,600 Mayan stadia of 180 m each. Yes, the same 180 m as that of the Egyptian stadia! This cannot be a coincidence. The distances on another Mayan pattern - a trapeze between four religious centres, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, La Muralla, and Monte Alban - are 2,000, 4,000, 6,000 stadia of 180 m each. (Our Cosmic Ancestors)

The sunken court in Monte Alban measures 78.50 by 85.60 m, or exactly 264 by 288 Tiahuanaco ft, even though the two sites are separated by thousands of kilometres. In short, we have convincing evidence that four separate American civilizations used the same numbers and the same units of measurement to express the two sacred numbers of astronomy that had the greatest importance for them, the numbers of days in the lunar and in the solar year at that time. (Our Cosmic Ancestors)

The pyramid complex (at Teotihuacan), as it was found in the nineteenth century, is another mystery altogether. Obviously, the city was deserted and has needed only a little clearing of the overlying debris to reveal the remains of roads and housing. The pyramid complex itself, however, was a little more enigmatic. The pyramids were originally constructed of a thick clay center, with a composite stone and mortar matrix shell as a casing to add stability to the inner clay core. All over this stone casing, the temples and pyramids had been covered with a thick layer of earth, up to 4 meters thick, and this layer appears to have been deliberately applied. The resulting monuments were not the neat pyramids we see today; they were like large man-made earth mounds and quite uninspiring. (Thoth: Architect of the Universe)

Like the Silbury and the Chinese pyramids, the pyramids of Teotihuacan were covered in a deep layer of earth; a layer which could easily have protected the site for thousands of years, and so the pyramids themselves could have been constructed in any era. On excavating the vast mounds of earth covering the pyramid of the Moon, nearly 500 original stones of the stairway were found, including the original cornerstone. When the stairway was reconstructed, it was found that it had been: "Ingeniously designed with interlocking stones, to prevent slippage." This is a system not unlike the roof of the Grand Gallery at Giza, which had a similar system of interlocking roof lintels. (Thoth: Architect of the Universe)

Milton started the process by taking long-distance measurements so that the errors in the disturbed buildings would be minimized, and he came up with a common multiple of 57 meters. [Harleston's] strategy was to measure vast numbers of relative proportions, initially taken over large distances, and refined where possible when original, undisturbed masonry was identifiable. The first number to emerge was again 57 m, swiftly followed by one-third of this or 19 m. Further investigation revealed one-third of this was also a multiple; this unit was 6.333 m. Harleston thought that this unit was significantly close to the polar radius of the Earth to warrant mention; the polar radius being some 6,356 km. What he would not have known at the time was that the polar radius of the Egyptian Earth, as measured from scaling up the great Pyramid by the factor 43,200, was 6,333 km. Parts of the complex which use the units of 6.333 m include the Sun and Moon Pyramids, the most central constructions on the site. (Thoth: Architect of the Universe)

Behind me, towering almost 100 feet into the air, was a perfect ziggurat, the Temple of Kukulkan. Its four stairways had 91 steps each. Taken together with the top platform, which counted as a further step, the total was 365. This gave the number of complete days in a solar year. In addition, the geometric design and orientation of the ancient structure had been calibrated with Swiss-watch precision to achieve an objective as dramatic as it was esoteric: on the spring and autumn equinoxes, regular as clockwork, triangular patterns of light and shadow combined to create the illusion of a giant serpent undulating on the northern staircase. On each occasion the illusion lasted for 3 hours and 22 minutes exactly. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Once sacred to the peaceful cult of Quetzalcoatl, but now surmounted by an ornate Catholic church, this immense edifice [tlahchiualteptl] was ranked among the most extensive and ambitious engineering projects ever undertaken anywhere in the ancient world. Indeed, with a base area of 45 acres and a height of 210 feet, it was three times more massive than the Great Pyramid of Egypt. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

What Harleston's investigations had shown was that a complex mathematical relationship appeared to exist among the principal structures lined up along the Street of the Dead (and indeed beyond it). This relationship suggested something extraordinary, namely that Teotihuacan might originally have been designed as a precise scale-model of the solar system. At any rate, if the centre line of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl were taken as denoting the position of the sun, markers laid out northwards from it along the axis of the Street of the Dead seemed to indicate the correct orbital distances of the inner planets, the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn (represented by the so-called 'Sun' Pyramid), Uranus (by the 'Moon' Pyramid), and Neptune and Pluto by as yet unexcavated mounds some kilometres farther north. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Schlemmer's argument was that the Street of the Dead might never have been a street at all. Instead, it might originally have been laid out as a row of linked reflecting pools, filled with water which had descended through a series of locks from the Pyramid of the Moon, at the northern extreme, to the Citadel in the south. As I walked steadily northward towards the still-distant Moon Pyramid, it seemed to me that this theory had several points in its favour. For a start the 'Street' was blocked at regular intervals by high partition walls, at the foot of which the remains of well-made sluices could clearly be seen. Moreover, the lie of the land would have facilitated a north-south hydraulic flow since the base of the Moon Pyramid stood on ground that was approximately 100 feet higher than the area in front of the Citadel. The partitioned sections could easily have been filled with water and might indeed have served as reflecting pools, creating a spectacle far more dramatic than those offered by the Taj Mahal or the fabled Shalimar Gardens. Finally, the Teotihuacan Mapping Project (financed by the National Science Foundation in Washington DC and led by Professor Rene Millon of the University of Rochester) had demonstrated conclusively that the ancient city had possessed 'many carefully laid-out canals and systems of branching waterways, artificially dredged into straightened portions of a river, which formed a network within Teotihuacan and ran all the way to [Lake Texcoco], now ten miles distant but perhaps closer in antiquity.' (Fingerprints of the Gods)

One of a group of buildings, the Mica Temple [Teotihuacan] is situated around a patio about 1000 feet south of the west face of the Pyramid of the Sun. Directly under a floor paved with heavy rock slabs, archaeologists financed by the Viking Foundation excavated two massive sheets of mica which had been carefully and purposively installed at some extremely remote date by a people who must have been skilled in cutting and handling this material. The sheets are ninety feet square and form two layers, one laid directly on top of the other. The trace elements in Teotihuacan's Mica Temple indicate that the underfloor sheets belong to a type which occurs only in Brazil, some 2000 miles away. Its use to form layers underneath a floor, and thus completely out of sight, seems especially bizarre when we remember that no other ancient structure in the Americas, or anywhere else in the world, has been found to contain a feature like this. In modern industry, it is used in the construction of capacitors and is valued as a thermal and electric insulator. It is also opaque to fast neutrons and can act as a moderator in nuclear reactions. (Fingerprints of the Gods) least one of the many functions of the pyramid had been to serve as a 'perennial clock', precisely signalling the equinoxes and thus facilitating calendar corrections as and when necessary for a people apparently obsessed, like the Maya, with the elapse and measuring of time. ...if we take the height of the Pyramid of the Sun (233.5 feet) and multiply it by 4 Pi we once again obtain a very accurate read-out of the perimeter: 233.5 feet x 4 x 3.14 = 2932.76 feet (a discrepancy of less than half an inch from the true figure of 2932.8 feet). (Fingerprints of the Gods)

There was, however, one original feature of the Pyramid of the Sun that Bartres had been unable to despoil: a subterranean passageway leading from a natural cave under the west face. After its accidental discovery in 1971 this passageway was thoroughly explored. Seven feet high, it was found to run eastwards for more than 300 feet until it reached a point close to the pyramid's geometrical centre. Here it debouched into a second cave, of spacious dimensions, which had been artificially enlarged into a shape very similar to that of a four-leaf clover. The 'leaves' were chambers, each about sixty feet in circumference, containing a variety of artefacts such as beautifully engraved slate discs and highly polished mirrors. There was also a complex drainage system of interlocking segments of carved rock pipes. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...the Teotihuacan Mapping Project had demonstrated that the population of the city in its heyday could have been as large as 200,000, making it a bigger metropolis than Imperial Rome of the Caesars. The Project had also established that the main monuments visible today covered just a small part of the overall area of ancient Teotihuacan. At its peak the city had extended across more than twelve square miles and had incorporated some 50,000 individual dwellings in 2000 apartment compounds, 600 subsidiary pyramids and temples, and 500 'factory' areas specializing in ceramic, figurine, lapidary, shell, basalt, slate and ground-stone work. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Reconstruction of La Venta. Note the unusual fluted-cone pyramid that dominates the site. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

 “Everything is turned on its head,” commented Ithaca College archaeologist Thomas Garrison on the results of a survey of 2,100 square kilometers of Guatemala’s densely forested northern Peten region. Deploying Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) pulsed laser technology, what the survey revealed, in areas quite close to known and even famous and well-visited Mayan sites such as Tikal, were more than 60,000 previously unsuspected ancient houses, palaces, defensive walls, fortresses, and other structures as well as quarries, elevated highways connecting urban centers, and complex irrigation and terracing systems that would have been capable of supporting intensive agriculture. Previously scholars had believed that only scattered city-states had existed in an otherwise sparsely populated region, but the Lidar images make it clear, as Garrison puts it, that “scale and population density had been grossly underestimated.” (America Before)