First off - credit to the OP, I would rather read about past civilizations here instead of Romney's tax returns.
Secondly, man, you are all one smart bunch and I want to know when we are holding the first/next ATS conference as I would love to meet the
originators of some of these ideas.
That aside, here are my thoughts on what El Fuerte was/is: Its a public works food processing plant!
While none of us here seem to have traveled to El Fuerte (no one commented that they had), its difficult to determine what the purpose was just based
on photos. The ideas and concepts of irrigation, plumbing, cattle watering, etc. all seam very intriguing and it would make sense that a project of
this size could be a "public works" effort. Based on the photo evidence and a VERY short review, here are a few items that surface for me and led me
to believe its for processing food:
The 2 Long Tracks
- Each track has a carved pattern to the right and left. The pattern is a series of end-to-end diamonds that are not very
ornate, however, the tracks themselves are smooth inside and very straight. My thought is that this design is for Grain Processing. Specifically, 1
large spindle (similar to a large wooden spool that they carry cable on) sits with its 2 wheels in the groves. In the center of the spindle sits the
grinding hub. The hub itself would be covered in crossed wooden or stone inserts that would mesh into the diamond patterns. Grain would either be
swept onto the cross hatched pattern and/or it would drop from the hub as the giant spindle would roll through the 2 smooth tracks. The weight would
be great enough that after a few passes, the grain would be chopped into meal and/or separated from its chaff. After 2-3 passes, the grain would be
swept down the hill to be collected at the base. The method itself would be a combination of man/machine and would provide an large-scale way of
feeding the masses. I do believe that water was also involved somehow and possibly it was used to push wheels that would add tension to the hubs
uphill return. As there are many "stairs" across the surface, they may have been placed there for the workers as they are working on the mill.
The Cut Outs
, I believe they could have been used for a few purposes. First, to separate the food they were processing (corn/husk,
wheat/chaff). The "food" would be pushed down into the lower catch bins and the byproduct would be pushed into other bins for collection. It would be
buch easier to draw food from the catch bins and it would make sense that gravity would be used in the process. What we do NOT see, are woods and
fabrics that may have also been on site at the time. There are may carved holes in the rocks that could have held timbers that formed storage areas or
troughs for the food. Fabric could have also been deployed in a way where it separated out the byproduct as workers broomed, pushed or shoveled the
food down the hill (think 2 poles sticking out horizontally with fabric stretched between the 2 & workers shoveling grain onto the mesh fabric).
Second, the cutouts on the bottom could have been ovens for on-site bread baking - hence the black discoloration. The carve outs were the backs of the
ovens and the fronts (which are no longer there) was comprised of stacked stones similar to how a brick oven is constructed these days (just no
mortar). The loose stack allowed them to maintain the ovens with periodic dismantling for thorough cleaning.
One other curious feature that also stands out is the large circular cut out with what looks like teeth (the gear shaped object).
This could have housed a large series of cogs that may have been used as a tensioner / pulley system for the grinding spindle.
"The Gear" - notice how its at the end of the 2 tracks?
As I just wrote the note above, I also realized that it may have also worked in reverse, with the spindle rolling down the hill to put tention into a
mechanism that sat in the "geared cutout". The geared cutout could have been the "mill" business end of the operation. In either case, it seems to fit
We have a LARGE project here that does not appear to have religious significance nor is iconic of a symbol of a rulers power. Every time I see an
ancient site like this (minimal ornamentation), I am always looking for the "Utility" in the structure.
PS - either it could be everything I said above, or its one of the first waterparks known to man
"El Fuerte Falls - Now open sundays!!"
edit on 23-9-2012 by oldmeatwad because: (no reason given)