Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sun and the Stars Align

This is one of the beings watching over the entrance to the ancient ruins of Canada de la Virgen, just opened to the public after 12 years of excavation. On March 3, the sun set in exactly in the notch at the centre of this pyramid. Only a few people where invited to witness the event, believed to be a sign to begin the spring planting. One of the witnesses happened to have an ipod with an astromy app, which told him that not only was the sun perfectly lined up but also 3 planets. The archeologists did not expect that.

In order to build the pyramid here, the ancients traveled to the distant mountains that ring the site to calculate its positioning. Markings were found in these sites as well. Their precision was awesome.

The resessed courtyard at the base of the pyramid may have been flooded and used as a water mirror to study the stars without craning one´s neck.

The steps are terribly steep and shallow. Some say it was to facilitate the rolling of heads (literally). But also, this construction forces you to climb the steps sideways and with your head down, a position of reverence to the gods.

This is the temple of the wind, built like a whirlwind. My favourite part.

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