Mesoamerican Discoveries and Sacred Sites

Massive Maya City Revealed by Lasers - "Sky Place" Ruin
National Geographic - May 20, 2010

The Maya called the Caana temples and palaces the "sky place". The LiDAR data allowed the University of Central Florida anthropologists to develop accurate 3-D representations of known structures, such as the Caana temples. The project also revealed thousands of new structures, 11 new roads, tens of thousands of agricultural terraces, and even a number of hidden caves throughout a city, which is now known to stretch over 68 square miles (177 square kilometers). Caracol is what we call a low-density agricultural urban center, like Angkor Wat. It's a type of city in which the agriculture is literally part of the city itself, and the whole landscape is integrated into the city," Diane Chase said.

Olmec Temple Found

Mouthful of Jewels

Mexico: Pictures: Pyramid Tomb With Human Sacrifices Found   National Geographic - May 19, 2010

The Olmec

Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and is one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica. The civic ceremonial center of the Monte Albán site is situated atop an artificially leveled ridge, which with an elevation of about 1,940 m (6,400 ft) above mean sea level rises some 400 m (1,300 ft) from the valley floor. How this site was developed remains a mystery, and, like many unexplained ancient megalithic sites scattered throughout the world, and perhaps linked, is an enigma leading many researchers to conclude that it was a landing strip for ancient astronauts much like the Nazca Desert.

The Great Pyramid of Cholula

Recently on a History Channel Special, they showed the Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for "artificial mountain") and I was fascinated by it size. It is a huge complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, and is the world's largest monument as well as the largest pyramid by volume.

The temple-pyramid complex was built in four stages, starting from the 3rd century BCE through the 9th century CE, and was dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl. It has a base of 450 by 450 m (1476x1476 ft) and a height of 66 m (217 ft). According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is in fact the largest pyramid as well as the largest monument ever constructed anywhere in the world, with a total volume estimated at over 4.45 million m3, even larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which is about 2.5 million m3. However the Great Pyramid of Giza is higher at 138.8 m (455 feet). The Aztecs believed that Xelhua built the Great Pyramid of Cholula.

Today the pyramid at first appears to be a natural hill surmounted by a church. This is the Iglesia de Nuestra SeĖora de los Remedios (Church of Our Lady of the Remedies), also known as the Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios (Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Remedies), which was built by the Spanish in colonial times (1594) on the site of a pre-Hispanic temple. The church is a major Catholic pilgrimage destination, and the site is also used for the celebration of indigenous rites. Many ancient sites in Latin America are found under modern Catholic holy sites, due to the practice of the Catholic Church repurposing local religious sites.

Because of the historic and religious significance of the church, which is a designated colonial monument, the pyramid as a whole has not been excavated and restored, as have the smaller but better-known pyramids at Teotihuacan. Inside the pyramid are some five miles (8 km) of tunnels excavated by archaeologists.

  Great Pyramid of Cholula   Google Videos

Pyramids, Ziggurats, Mounds

Mesoamerican Civilizations