The terraces above Teotihuacan . . . truly a wonder of the world
I have also discovered ancient stone circles on Cerro Gordo, identical to those in the Northeast Georgia Mountains!
While climbing the steep south slope of Cerro Gordo on July 15, 1970, I encountered a seemingly endless procession of crude stone walls. Most of the rocks weighed in the range of +/- 50 to 300 pounds (23-136 kg), but at the crest of the mountain I came face to face to what was obviously a hastily erected fortification, composed of much larger rocks . . . weighing perhaps +/- 200-2000+ pounds (91-910+ kg). Beneath this fortification were thousands of obsidian arrowheads, atlatl points and blades. In some places were bits of bones in the soil . . . probably human bones, because this wall seemed to have been the scene of an ancient battle. The stone walls were completely concealed by dense natural vegetation in many locations and certainly invisible from Teotihuacan. What looks like olive colored grass or weeds in the satellite image above is actually composed of shrubs and small trees up to 15 feet high. The dark green in the image is composed of trees no more than 25 feet high . . . most not much taller than the olive colored shrubs.
At the time, I presumed that my ordeal of climbing over hundreds of walls as I climbed up the side of a 10,000 feet high mountain was just bad luck on my part in picking the wrong place to climb the mountain. I was trying to stay pretty much in line with the Avenue of the Dead at Teotihuacan. As instructed by my faculty advisors at Georgia Tech, Ike Saporta and Julian Harris, I did make one color slide each of a typical terrace wall and the fortress at the top. Those two slides stayed in my slide storage boxes for 48 years until . . . NASA, ERSI and Google made public extremely high resolution satellite imagery of Metropolitan Mexico City in 2018. That was a game changer.
The satellite imagery, typically available to civilians, gets rather fuzzy as you zoom in on a specific location. On many of those rainy days that we had this winter, I was working on the videos for the Teotihuacan-Cerro Gordo series. I zoomed in on the new satellite imagery, installed by ERSI-GIS and was surprised to see many details missing from older versions. This image was made in the wintertime, when much of the foliage was gone. You could even see vehicles on the roads. Whereas the top of Cerro Gordo had been in a natural or pastoral state in 1970, dirt roads now crisscrossed the terrain and there were many more structures associated with the air traffic control center. I also noticed that thousands of acres of formerly worn-out, abandoned farmland had been planted with nopal (prickly pear) cactus.
Magnifying the satellite image a little more and I was shocked to see that almost the entire mountain was covered with the ancient stone walls that once held agricultural terraces. Most of the topsoil behind the stone walls seemed to have washed down the mountain, but scale of the stone walls was mind-boggling. “Someone” in the ancient past had stacked very large rocks in retaining walls to create over 7,000 acres (2,833 hectares) of cultivated land on an extinct volcano! As stated earlier, the weights of many of the rocks were equal to or heavier than normal humans of that era. That’s assuming that “normal humans” did this task.
But there is more!
While roaming around the surface of Cerro Gordo with ERSI GIS software, I came in for some surprises. Archaeologists are working on a 20,000 square foot temple site, which perfectly aligns with the Avenue of the Dead down below in Teotihuacan (See image above and detail image below.) I found stone circles like those we are documenting in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. One of them on the acropolis was oval and the same dimensions as the Alec Mountain Stone Circle in Habersham County, Georgia. I also found something akin to the Nazca Lines on a hill near the foot of Cerro Gordo. It seems to have an astronomical function. It is very clear that the story of Teotihuacan is a book still being written . . . with many chapters yet to write!
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