Most of you will probably be familiar with the ancient ruined city of Teotihuacan and its famous pyramids of the Sun, Moon and of the feathered
Still surprisingly little is know of the origins of what was probably the largest city in Mesoamerica, a city that flourished in the first centuries
of the common era and that was roughly contemporary with the late Roman Empire (a fact that warranted it the title of "Rome of Mesoamerica").
Except for the scale of its great pyramids and highly organized urban layout, little seems remarkable about Teotihuacan in terms of megalithic
architecture. The pyramids themselves, even if one were to ignore the somehow imaginative restorations carried out at the beginning of the 20th
century and inspired more by nationalist propaganda than archaeological rigor, share very little from an architectural point of view with the Egyptian
pyramids to which they are so frequently equated. Far from consisting of cut stone blocks, they reveal a core of rubble and mud bricks, loosely held
together by a kind of cement, and later plastered over and covered with stucco.
To most visitors, Teotihuacan is little more than a pre-columbian Disneyland, with its restored pyramids and imposing ceremonial avenues.
One needs to walk off the beaten track to find evidence of a much more ancient and mysterious Teotihuacan.
Behind the temple of the feathered serpents, in an area where very few visitors ever venture, hundreds of enormous stone blocks lie scattered in a
chaos of fallen stones and broken sculptures. Giant serpent heads, some of which weighting in excess of 4 tons, finely sculptured and polished
megalithic blocks and carved stones.
These surprising examples of megalithic architecture are a sharp contrast to the rubble filling of the larger pyramids and show a workmanship
unparalleled elsewhere at Teotihuacan
Even more fascinating is the fact that these large stones (which most certainly formed part of the casing of an earlier layer of construction of the
pyramid of the feathered serpents) are found in no apparent order still partially embedded in the later masonry filling of the pyramid, as if they had
been simply dumped there as filling material.
This find prompts several interesting questions:
- Can these colossal megalithic remains be evidence of even earlier layers of construction at Teotihuacan, perhaps the original "City of the Gods"
of Aztec and Nahua legends?
- Where did the builders of these megalithic constructions come from? There is nothing else in terms of megalithic architecture at Teotihuacan and
across most of Mesoamerica.
- Why did these stones appear to have been deliberately buried and dumped in the filling of the later pyramid? Was it an attempt to erase all traces
of their builders, or was it a cataclysm to cause the destruction we see?
- What are the theories concerning the origins and function of this megalithic architecture?
Here is a blog article with several pictures of these mysterious megalithic remains - to my knowledge, these are the only pictures existing online of
what is perhaps the most compelling evidence of an older and much more sophisticated megalithic layer of construction at Teotihuacan.
The megalithic ruins of Ancient Mexico -