Teotihuacan’s suburbs at ground level
When I walked across the 2 1/2 miles of worn out farmland between the Pyramid of the Moon and the base of Cerro Gordo, I could have easily filled a 55 gallon drum with potsherds that my feet crossed over. It was astonishing how large and densely populated that city was. Some of the pottery and several of the earthen mounds appeared to be much older than Teotihuacan, perhaps dating from the dawn of pottery-making in Central Mexico around 900 BC. I also found ancient, under-fired figurines that expressed typical Olmec Civilization themes, like a jaguar eating a human skeleton. Part of the area I walked on is now a Super-Walmart.
I am currently finishing up the second Youtube video on Teotihuacan and thought you would like to see some of what I saw so long ago. These are scenes that are gone with the wind. There is something else you should be aware of. There was almost no difference between the folk pottery of Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, Palenque and the proto-Creek towns in Georgia. If my plastic containers were not labeled, I would find it very difficult to discern from which town’s or city’s ruins these came from.
The Mesoamerican pottery and statuary that you seen in museums was made by elite artisans for the elite . . . who composed at most, about 5% of the population. Otherwise there was very little difference in the houses and home furnishings of the Mesoamerican regular folk and the Proto-Creek regular folk. Perhaps the Creek’s ancestors had more furniture, because of the abundance of wood and river cane, while the Mesoamericans ate a much wider variety of vegetables and fruits.
When I was living in Cartersville near Etowah Mounds in 1996, I took some of my potsherds from the suburbs of Chichen Itza to an artifact identification event at Etowah Mounds. I had just moved from Virginia, so none of the archaeologists in Georgia knew me. Likewise, I knew very little about my own Creek-Uchee heritage, but was trying to learn, while living so close to the Etowah museum. As a joke, I told the three archaeologists that I found the potsherds “when I was in the suburbs” . . . not telling them that it was the suburbs of Chichen Itza.
Well . . . they all assumed that I meant the Atlanta suburbs! They classified all the potsherds as being plain, shell-tempered redware from either the first or second phase of Etowah’s occupation or perhaps traded from Ocmulgee National Monument. They didn’t believe me when I said that the potsherds came from Chichen Itza. One said that it was impossible, since this was shell-tempered pottery. I responded that I didn’t know that shell-tempered redware was made anywhere, but in southern Mexico. They quickly wanted to move on to the next person in line.
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