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Teotihuacán, “the Place Where Men Became Gods”

The Avenue of The Dead, with the Pyramid of the Sun in the distance, viewed from the top of Pyramid of The Moon.
The Avenue of The Dead, with the Pyramid of the Sun in the distance, viewed from the top of Pyramid of The Moon.
According to Graham Hancock, in his book Fingerprints of the Gods, Central American legends collected in the sixteenth century by Father Bernardino de Sahagun say that Teotihuacán is known as the “City of the Gods” because “the Lords therein buried, after their deaths, did not perish but turned into gods….” (Note that ascension to “heaven” can be seen as becoming a god or a star.) Hancock writes:

[Teotihuacán] was “the place where men became gods”. It was also known as “the place of those who had the road of the gods”, and “the place where gods were made”.

Was it a coincidence, I wondered, that this seemed to have been the religious purpose of the three pyramids at Giza? The archaic hieroglyphs of the Pyramid Texts, the oldest coherent body of writing in the world, left little room for doubt that the ultimate objective of the rituals carried out within those colossal structures was to bring about the deceased pharaoh’s transfiguration — to “throw open the doors of the firmament and to make a road” so that he might “ascend into the company of the gods”….

There was widespread agreement among academics concerning the antiquity of the Giza pyramids, thought to be about 4500 years old. No such unanimity existed with regard to Teotihuacán…. Amid all this uncertainty about the age of Teotihuacán, I had not been surprised to discover that no one had the faintest idea of the identity of those who had actually built the largest and most remarkable metropolis ever to have existed in the pre-Colombian New World. All that could be said for sure was this: when the Aztecs, on their march to imperial power, first stumbled upon the mysterious city in the twelfth century AD, its colossal edifices and avenues were already old beyond imagining and so densely overgrown that they seemed more like natural features than works of man. Attached to them, however, was a thread of local legend, passed down from generation to generation, which asserted that they had been built by giants and that their purpose had been to transform men into gods.

Hancock also has some interesting thoughts on the mica found at Teotihuacán in the Pyramid of the Sun and in the Mica Temple. When the Pyramid of the Sun was being readied for “restoration” in 1906, the contractor, Leopoldo Bartres, immediately sold the valuable mica.

Speaking of the Mica Temple, Hancock says:

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.

Mica is not a uniform substance but contains trace elements of different metals depending on the kind of rock formation in which it is found. Typically these metals include potassium and aluminium and also, in varying quantities, ferrous and ferric iron, magnesium, lithium, manganese and titanium. The trace elements in Teotihuacán’s Mica Temple indicate that the underfloor sheets belong to a type which occurs only in Brazil, some 2000 miles away. Clearly, therefore, the builders of the Temple must have had a specific need for this particular kind of mica and were prepared to go to considerable lengths to obtain it, otherwise they could have used the locally available variety more cheaply and simply….

Let us note in passing that mica possesses characteristics which suit it especially well for a range of technological applications. 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.

The ruins of the temple at Abu Gurab in Egypt also contained huge sheets of mica. Some theorists believe these pyramids were facilities for refining gold, or making “gold juice”.

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