Chapter 2: The Lost Realm of Cain?

…The Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was an impressive metropolis when the Spaniards arrived… But the heart of the city and the empire was the vast religious center – an immense rectangle of more than a million square feet, surrounded by a wall fashioned to resemble writhing serpents. There were scores of edifices within this sacred precinct; the most outstanding of them were the Great Temple with its two towers, and the partly circular temple of Quetzalcoatl.

…The Great Temple had the shape of a step-pyramid, rising in stages to a height of some 160 feet; its base measured about 150 by 150 feet. It represented the culmination of several phases of construction… the outer structure was built over a previous smaller one, and that one enclosed an even earlier structure. In all, seven structures were encasing each other. Archaeologists were able to peel the layers back to Temple II, which was built sometime around A.D. 1400; that one, like the last one, already had the distinctive twin towers upon its top.

… Representing a curious dual worship, the tower on the northern side was a shrine dedicated to Tlaloc, god of storms and earthquakes. The southern tower was dedicated to the Aztec tribal deity Huitzilopochtli, their war god. He was usually depicted holding the magical weapon called Fire Serpent with which he had defeated four hundred lesser gods… At the base of the pyramid excavators found a large, thick stone disk whose top was carved with a representation of the dismembered body of the goddess Coyolxauhqui. According to Aztec lore, she was a sister of Huitzilopochtli and came to grief by his own hand, during the rebellion of the four hundred gods in which she was involved. It seems that her fate was one of the reasons for the Aztec belief that Huitzilopochtli had to be appeased by offering him the torn out hearts of human victims.

…The motif of twin towers was further enhanced in the sacred precinct by the erection of two pyramids topped by towers, one on each side of the Great Temple, and two more somewhat back, westward. The latter two flanked the temple of Quetzalcoatl. It had the unusual shape of a regular step-pyramid in front but a circular stepped structure in the back, where it spiraled up to become a circular tower with a conical dome. Many believe that this temple served as a solar observatory. A.F. Aveni (Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica) determined in 1974 that on the dates of the equinox (March 21 and September 21), when the Sun rises in the east precisely on the equator, sunrise could be seen from the Quetzalcoatl tower right between the two towers atop the Great Temple. This was possible only because the planners of the sacred precinct erected the temple along an architectural axis aligned not precisely with the cardinal points, but one that shifted to the southeast by 7 1/2 degrees; this compensated exactly for the geographical position of Tenochtitlan (north of the equator), enabling the viewing of the Sun on the crucial dates rising between the two towers.

…Although the Spaniards may have been unaware of this sophisticated feature of the sacred precinct, the records they left bespeak their amazement at encountering not merely a cultured people, but also a civilization so similar to the Spaniard’s own.

…Here, across what had been a forbidden ocean, for all intent and purposes isolated from the civilized world, was a state headed by a king – just as in Europe. Noblemen, functionaries, courtesans filled the royal court. Emissaries came and went. Tribute was extracted from vassal tribes, taxes were paid by loyal citizens. Royal archives kept written records of tribal histories, dynasties, wealth. There was an army with an hierarchical command and perfected weapons. There were arts and crafts, music and dancing. There were festivals connected with the seasons and holy days prescribed by religion – a state religion, just as in Europe. And there was the sacred precinct with its temples and chapels and residences, surrounded by a wall – just as the Vatican in Rome – run by a hierarchy of priests who, just as in Europe of the time, were not only keepers of the faith and interpreters of divine will, but also guardians of the secrets of scientific knowledge. Of that, astrology, astronomy, and the mysteries of the calendar were paramount… to the Spaniards’ astonishment, even the symbol of the cross was known to the Aztecs and, deemed by them a symbol of celestial significance as the emblem of Quetzalcoatl’s shield.

…Moreover, through the maze of a pantheon of numerous deities, there could be seen an underlying belief in a Supreme God, a Creator of All. Some of the prayers to him even sounded familiar; here are a few verses from an Aztec prayer, recorded in Spanish from the original Nahuatl language:

You inhabit the heavens,
You uphold the mountains . . .
You are everywhere, everlasting.
You are beseeched, you are entreated.
Your glory is eminent.

…Yet with all the baffling similarities, there was a troubling difference about Aztec civilization. It was not just the "idolatry," of which the flocking friars and padres made a casus belli; not even the barbaric customs of cutting the hearts of prisoners and offering the pulsating hearts in sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli (a practice, incidentally, apparently introduced only in 1486 by the king preceding Moctezuma). It was, rather, the whole gamut of this civilization, as though it was the result of a progress that had been arrested in its course, or an imported higher culture covering, as a thin veneer, a courser understructure.

…The edifices were impressive and ingeniously laid out, but they were not built of dressed stones, rather, they were of adobe construction – field stones crudely held together with simple mortar.

…In their tools and weapons, the Aztecs were in a stone age, unaccountably devoid of metal tools and weapons although they possessed the craft of goldsmithing. For cutting they used chips of the glasslike obsidian stone (and one of the prevalent objects from Aztec times was the obsidian knife used to cut out prisoner’s hearts…).

…The writing was neither alphabetical nor phonetic; it was a series of pictures, like cartoons in a comic strip. By comparison, in the ancient Near East where writing began circa 3800 B.C. (in Sumer) in the form of pictographs, it quickly changed through stylization to a cuneiform script, advanced to a phonetic script where signs stood for syllables, and, by the end of the second millennium B.C. to a complete alphabet. Pictorial writing appeared in Egypt at the beginning of kingship there, circa 3100 B.C., and quickly evolved into a system of hieroglyphic writing.

…Expert studies, as that by Amelia Hertz (Revue de Synthese Historique, vol. 35), have concluded that Aztec picture-writing in A.D. 1500 was similar to the earliest Egyptian writing, as that on the stone tablet of king Narmer whom some consider to have been the first dynastic king in Egypt – four and a half millennia earlier. A. Hertz found another curious analogy between Aztec Mexico and early dynastic Egypt: In both, while copper metallurgy was yet to develop, goldsmithing was so advanced that the craftsmen could inlay golden objects with turquoise (a semiprecious stone cherished in both lands).

…The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City – certainly one of the world’s best in its field – displays the country’s archaeological heritage in a U-shaped building. Consisting of connected sections or halls, it takes the visitor through time and place, from prehistoric origins to Aztec times and from south and north to east and west. The central section is devoted to the Aztecs; it is the heart and pride of national Mexican archaeology, for "Aztecs" was a name given these people only lately. They called themselves Mexica, thus giving their preferred name not only to the capital (built where the Aztec Tenochtitlan had been) but also to the whole country.

…The Mexica Hall, as it is designated, is portrayed by the Museum as "the most important hall…" (National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City).

…The contrast between primitive clay and wood objects and grotesque effigies on the one hand, and the powerful stone carvings and monumental sacred precinct on the other hand, is astounding. It is inexplicable in terms of the less than four centuries of Aztec presence in Mexico. How could two such layers of civilization be accounted for? When the answer is sought in known history, the Aztecs appear as a nomadic, uncouth immigrant tribe that forced its way into a valley peopled by tribes with a more advanced culture. At first they made a living by serving the settled tribes, mostly as hired mercenaries. In time they managed to overpower their neighbours, and borrowed not only their culture but also their artisans. Themselves followers of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztecs adopted their neighbours’ pantheon, including the rain god Tlaloc and the benevolent Quetzalcoatl, god of crafts, writing, mathematics, astronomy, and time reckoning.

…But the legends, what scholars call "migration myths," put events in a different light – mainly by beginning the tale at a much earlier time. The sources for this information are not only verbal traditions, but the various books called codices. These, such as the Codex Boturini, relate that the ancestral home of the Aztec tribe was called Azt-lan ("White Place"). It was the abode of the first patriarchal couple, Itzac-mixcoatl ("White Cloud Serpent") and his spouse Ilan-cue ("Old Woman"); they gave birth to sons from whom the Nahuatl-speaking tribes, among them the Aztecs, had come forth. The Toltecs too were descended of Itzac-mixcoatl, but their mother was another woman; they were thus half brothers of the Aztecs.

…Where Aztlan was located, no one can say for certain. Of the numerous studies dealing with the matter (which include theories that it was the legendary Atlantis), one of the best is Eduard Seler‘s Wo lag Aztlan, die Heimat der Azteken? It was a place apparently associated with the number seven, having been sometimes called Aztlan of the Seven Caves. It was also depicted in the codices as a place recognizable by its seven temples: a central large step-pyramid surrounded by six lesser shrines.

…In his elaborate Historia de las cosas de Nueva Espana, the Friar Bernardino de Sahagun, using the original text in the native Nahuatl language written after the Conquest, deals with the multitribal migration from Aztlan. There were seven tribes in all. They left Aztlan by boats… Sahagun provides various names for the way stations, calling the place of landfall "Panotlan"; it simply means "Place of Arrival by Sea," but from various clues scholars conclude that it was what is nowadays Guatemala.

…The arriving tribes had with them four Wise Men to guide and lead them, because they had carried with them ritual manuscripts and also knew the secrets of the calendar. From there the tribes went in the direction of the Place of the Cloud-Serpent, apparently dispersing as they did so. At long last some, including the Aztecs and the Toltecs, reached a place called Teotihuacan, where two pyramids were built, one to the Sun and the other to the Moon.

…How long before the next migratory trek is not clear; but at some point the tribes began to abandon the holy city. First to leave were the Toltecs, who left to build their own city, Tollan. Last to leave were the Aztecs. Their wonderings took them to various places, but they found no respite. At the time of their final migration their leader’s name was Mexitli, meaning "The Anointed." That, according to some scholars (e.g., Manuel Orozoco y Berra, Ojeada sobre cronologia Mexicana), was the origin of the tribal name Mexica ("The Anointed People").

…Thus it was that the Aztecs arrived – according to these legends, for the second time – in the Valley of Mexico.

…Scholars now generally hold that the Mexica or Tenochas arrived in the valley circa A.D. 1140 and established Tenochtitlan in A.D. 1325.

…Like the biblical Hebrews, who traced back their genealogies not only to patriarchal couples but also to the beginning of Mankind, so did the Aztecs and Toltecs and other Nahuatl tribes posses Legends of Creation that followed the same themes.

…Mesoamerica – held that at the very beginning there was an Olden God, Creator of All Things, of the Heaven and of the Earth, whose abode was in highest heaven, the twelfth heaven. Sahagun’s sources attributed the origin of this knowledge to the Toltecs:

And the Toltecs knew
that many are the heavens.
They said there are twelve superimposed divisions;
There dwells the true god and his consort.
He is the Celestial God, Lord of Duality;
His consort is Lady of Duality, Celestial Lady.
This is what it means:
He is king, he is Lord, above the twelve heavens.

…This amazingly sounds like a rendering of Mesopotamian celestial-religious beliefs, according to which the head of the pantheon was called Anu ("Lord of Heaven") and who, with his consort Antu ("Lady of Heaven") resided on the outermost planet, the twelfth member of our Solar System. The Sumerians depicted it as a radiating planet whose symbol was the cross. The symbol was thereafter adopted by all the peoples of the ancient world and evolved to the ubiquitous emblem of the Winged Disk. Quetzalcoatl‘s shield and symbols depicted on early Mexican monuments are uncannily similar.

…The Olden gods of whom the Nahuatl texts related legendary tales were depicted as bearded men, as befits ancestors of the bearded Quetzalcoatl. As in Mesopotamian and Egyptian theogonies, there were tales of divine couples and of brothers who espoused their own sisters. Of prime and direct concern to the Aztecs were the four divine brothers Tlatlauhqui, Tezcatlipoca-Yaotl, Quetzalcoatl, and Huitzilopochtli, in the order of their birth. They represented the four cardinal points and the four primary elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water – a concept of the "root of all things" well known in the Old World from end to end. These four gods also represented the colors red, black, white, and blue, and the four races of Mankind, who were often depicted (as on the front page of the Codex Ferjervary-Mayer) in appropriate colors together with their symbols, trees and animals.

…Were the gods of the Mexicans original conceptions, or were memories of beliefs and tales that had their roots in the ancient Near East? The answer will emerge as we examine additional aspects of Nahuatl tales of creation and prehistory.

…We find the Creator of All Things, to continue the comparisons, to have been a god who "gives life and death, good and evil fortune." The chronicler Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas (Historia General) wrote that the Indians "call to him in their tribulations, gazing toward the sky where they believe him to be."

…The early or prehistoric events affecting Mankind and the progenitors of the Nahuatl tribes were divided by legends, pictorial depictions, and stone carvings such as the Calendar Stone, into four ages or "Suns." The Aztecs considered their times to have been the most recent of five eras. The Age of the Fifth Sun. Each of the previous four Suns had come to an end through some catastrophe, sometimes a natural one (such as a deluge) and some times a calamity triggered by wars between the gods.

…The great Aztec Calendar Stone contains glyphs, among other symbols, of the past four eras and the calamity that ended each – Water, Wind, Quake and Storms, and Jaguar.

Image: Aztec Calendar Stone

Aztec Calendar Stone

…Though versions vary, suggesting a long verbal tradition preceding the written records, they all agree that the first age came to an end by a deluge, a great flood that engulfed the Earth. Mankind survived because one couple, Nene and his wife Tata, managed to save themselves in a hollow log.

Continuing with the five ages of the Aztec.

…Either this first age (which ended with the Deluge) or the second one was the age of the White Haired Giants. The Second Sun was recalled as "Tzoncuztique," "Golden Age"; it was brought to an end by the Wind Serpent. The Third Sun was presided over by the Fire Serpent; it was the age of the Red Haired People. According to the chronicler Ixtlilxochitl, they were survivors of the second age who had come by ship from the East to the New World, settling in the area he called Botonchan; they encountered there giants who also survived the second age, and became enslaved by them.

…The Fourth Sun was the era of the Black Headed People. It was during that era that Quetzalcoatl appeared in Mexico – tall of stature, bright of countenance, bearded, and wearing a long tunic. His staff, shaped like a serpent, was painted black, white, and red; it was inlaid with precious stones and adorned with six stars. (Not by coincidence, perhaps, the staff of Bishop Zumarraga, the first Bishop of Mexico, was fashioned to look like the staff of Quetzalcoatl). It was during this era that Tollan, the Toltec capital, was built. Quetzalcoatl, master of wisdom, and knowledge, introduced learning, crafts, laws, and time reckoning according to the fifty-two-year cycle.

…Toward the end of the Fourth Sun, wars between the gods were taking place. Quetzalcoatl left, going east back to the place whence he had come. The god’s wars brought havoc to the land, wild animals overran mankind, and Tollan was abandoned. Five years later the Chichimec tribes, alias the Aztecs, arrived; and the Fifth Sun, the Aztec era, began.

…Why were the eras called "Suns" and how long did they last? The reason is unclear and the length of the various eras is either unstated or differs according to the version. One that appears orderly and, as we shall show, astoundingly plausible, is the Codex Vaticano-Latino 3738. It relates that the first Sun lasted 4,008 years, the second 4,010, the third 4,081. The fourth Sun "began 5,042 years ago," leaving unstated the time of its ending. Be it as it may, we have here a tale of events going back 17,141 years from the time the tales have been recorded.

…This is quite a time span for supposedly backward people to recall, and scholars, while agreeing that the events of the Fourth Sun contain historical elements, tend to dismiss the earlier eras as sheer myth. How then explain the tales of Adam and Eve, a global deluge, the survival of one couple – episodes (in the words of H. B. Alexander, Latin-American Mythology) "strikingly reminiscent of the creation-narrative in Genesis 2 and of the similar Babylonian Cosmogony"? Some scholars suggest that Nahuatl texts reflect in some way what the Indians had already heard from the Bible-spouting Spaniards. But since not all codices are post-Conquest, the biblical-Mesopotamian similarities can only be explained by admitting that the Mexican tribes had some ancestral ties to Mesopotamia.

…Moreover, the Mexica-Nahuatl timetable correlates events with a scientific and historical accuracy that ought to make everyone stop and wonder. It dates the deluge, at the end of the First Sun, to 13,133 years before the time of writing the codex; i.e., to about 11,600 B.C. Now, in our book The 12th Planet we have concluded that a global deluge had indeed engulfed the Earth circa 11,000 B.C.; such a correspondence not only of the tale itself but also of its approximate time suggests that there is more than myth to Aztec tales.

…We are equally intrigued by the tales’ statement that the fourth era was the time of the "black-headed people" (the earlier ones having been deemed eras of white-haired giants, then red-haired people). This is precisely the term by which the Sumerians were called in their texts. Do the Aztec tales then deem the Fourth Sun to have been the time when the Sumerians appeared on the human scene? Sumerian civilization began circa 3800 B.C.; we should not, it would seem by now, be surprised to find that by dating the beginning of the Fourth Age to 5,026 years before their own time, the Aztecs in effect date it to circa 3500 B.C. – amazingly correct for the start of the age of the "black-headed people."

…The feedback explanation (that the Aztecs told the Spaniards what they had heard from the Spaniards to begin with) certainly does not hold water where the Sumerians are concerned; the Western world uncovered the remains and legacy of the great Sumerian civilization only four centuries after the Conquest.

…The Genesis-like tales, one must conclude, had to be known to the Nahuatl tribes from their own ancestral sources. But How?

…If not the originator, then the one who expounded it first in a detailed manuscript, was the Dominican Friar Diego Duran, who was brought to new Spain in 1542 at the age of five… It is in his second book that Duran, citing the many similarities, stated emphatically his conclusion regarding the natives "of the Indies and the mainland of this new world" that "they are Jews and Hebrew people." His theory was confirmed, he wrote, "by their nature: These natives are part of the ten tribes of Israel which Shalmaneser, King of the Assyrians, captured and took to Assyria."

…Such reports increased, the theory of the Ten Lost Tribes became the favorite one of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the assumption being that, somehow, wondering eastward through the Assyrian domains and beyond, the Israelites reached America.

…The notion of the Ten Lost Tribes, at its height sponsored by Europe’s royal courts, came to be ridiculed by later scholars. Current theories hold that Man initially arrived in the New World from Asia across an icy land bridge to Alaska some 20,000-30,000 years ago, spreading gradually southward. Considerable evidence consisting of artifacts, language and ethnological and anthropological evaluations indicates influences from across the Pacific – Hindu, Southeast Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Polynesian. Scholars explain them by periodic arrival of such people in the Americas; but they are emphatic in stating that these occurred during the Christian era, just centuries before the conquest and not in any time B.C.

…Indeed, legends of a global deluge and the creation of Man out of clay or similar materials have been themes of mythologies all over the world, and one possible route to the Americas from the Near East (where the tales had originated) could have been Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

…But there are elements in the Nahuatl versions that point to a very early source, rather than to relatively recent pre-Conquest centuries. One is the fact that the Nahuatl tales of the creation of Man follow a very ancient Mesopotamian version that did not even find its way into the Book of Genesis!

…We find it highly significant that it is this version – which is not in the Bible – that is repeated in the Aztec myth. The text is known as Manuscript of 1558; it relates that after the calamitous end of the Fourth Sun the Gods assembled in Teotihuacan.

As soon as the gods came together, they said:

"Who shall inhabit the Earth?
The sky has already been established
and the Earth has been established;
but who; oh gods, shall live on Earth?"

…The gathered gods "were grieved." But Quetzalcoatl, a god of wisdom and science, had an idea. He went to Mictlan, the Land of the Dead, and announced to the divine couple in charge of it: "I have come for the precious bones which you keep here." Overcoming objections and trickery, Quetzalcoatl managed to get hold of the "precious bones."

…He carried the dry bones to Tamoanchan "Place of our Origin" or "Place from which we are descended." There he gave the bones to the goddess Cihuacoatl ("Serpent Woman"), a goddess of magic.

She ground up the bones
and put them in a fine earthern tub.
Quetzalcoatl bled his male organ on them.

…As the other gods looked on, she mixed the ground bones with the god’s blood from the claylike mixture the Macehuales were fashioned. Mankind was re-created!

…It is truly amazing to find all these elements in the Nahuatl tales – a god of knowledge known as the Plumed Serpent, a goddess of magical powers called Serpent Woman; a bathtub of foam in which earthly elements are mixed with a god’s essence (blood); and the fashioning of Man, male and female, out of the mixture.

…Coupled with the other Sumerian-related data and terminology, contacts at a very early time is indicated. The evidence, it appears, also challenges the current theories about Man’s first migrations to the Americas. By that we do not mean simply the suggestions (made earlier this century at the International Congresses of Americanists) that the migration was not from Asia via the Bering Strait in the north, but from Australia/New Zealand via Antarctica to South America – an idea revived recently after the discovery in northern Chile, near the border with Peru, of buried human mummies 9,000 years old.

…The trouble we have with both arrival theories is that they require the trekking by men, women, and children over thousands of miles of frozen terrain…

…But how could they know what was beyond the endless ice if they had not been there yet, nor anyone else before them – for, by definition, they were the first men to cross over to the Americas?

…The Aztec god described their Promised Land to them as one of "houses with gold and silver, multicolor cotton and cacao of many hues." Would the early migrants to America have undertaken their impossible trek had not someone – their god – told them to go and described to them what to expect? And if that deity was not a merely theological entity, but a being physically present on Earth, could he have helped the migrants overcome the hardships of the journey, just as the biblical Lord had done for the Israelites?

Image: Temple of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan

Temple of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan

Since the First Sun had ended with the Deluge, that era had to be the final phase of the last Ice Age, for we have concluded in The 12th Planet that the Deluge was caused by the slippage of the Antarctic ice sheet into the oceans, thereby bringing the last Ice Age to an abrupt end circa 11,000 B.C.

…Legends of prehistoric arrivals by sea and landing on the Pacific coast are not confined to the Mexican peoples. Farther south the Andean people retained memories of a similar nature told as legends. One, the Legend of Naymlap, may relate to the very first settlement on those coasts by people from elsewhere. It tells of the arrival of a great fleet of balsa-reed boats (of the kind used by Thor Heyerdahl to simulate Sumerian seafaring in reed boats). A green stone that could utter the words of the people’s god, placed in the lead boat, directed the migrant’s leader, Naymlap, to the chosen beach. The deity, speaking through the green idol, then instructed the people in the arts of farming, building, and handicrafts.

Image: The Migration of the Aztecs; Boturini Manuscript

The Migration of the Aztecs; Boturini Manuscript

…The time then came when the leader, Naymlap, his mission accomplished, had to depart. Unlike his successors , he did not die: he was given wings and flew away, never to be seen again – taken heavenward by the god of the speaking stone. (Reminiscent of Enoch).

…In believing that divine instructions could be received through a Speaking Stone, the American Indians were in good company: all the ancient peoples of the Old World described and believed in oracle stones, and the Ark that the Israelites had carried during the Exodus was topped by the Dvir – literally, "Speaker" – a portable device through which Moses could hear the Lord’s instructions.

…Scholars have a problem with a crossing of the oceans by boats 15,000 or 20,000 years ago: Man they hold, was too primitive then to have oceangoing vessels and navigate the high seas.

…The Sumerians… there had been, they stated and restated, a high civilization upon Earth before the Deluge – a civilization begun on Earth by those who had come from the planet of Anu and continued through a life of long-living "demigods," the offspring of intermarriage between the Extraterrestrials (the biblical Nefilim) and the "daughters of Man." Egyptian chronicles, such as the writings of the priest Manetho, followed the same concept. So of course did the Bible, which describes both rural life (farming, sheepherding) and urban civilization (cities, metallurgy) before the Deluge.

…The Book of Genesis begins with creation tales that are concise versions of much more detailed Sumerian Texts. In these it consistently speaks of "the Adam," literally "the Earthling." But then it switches to the genealogy of a specific ancestor named Adam: "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1). He had two sons at first, Cain and Abel. After Cain killed his brother, he was banished by Yahweh. "And Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and called his name Sheth." It is this line, the line of Sheth, that the Bible follows through a genealogy of patriarchs to Noah, the hero of the Deluge story. The tale then focuses on the Asian-African-European peoples.

…But whatever happened to Cain and his line? All we have in the Bible are a dozen verses. Yahweh punished Cain to become a nomad, "a fugitive and a vagabond on the Earth."

"And Cain went away from the presence of Yahweh
and dwelt in the land of Nod, East of Eden.
And Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch;
and he built a city
And called the name of the city by his son’s name, Enoch."

…Several generations later, Lamech was born. He had two wives. Of one Jabal was born… of the other, two sons were born. One Jubal… the other son, Tubal-Kain, was "an artificer of gold and copper and iron."

…"Cain took Awan his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch at the fourth jubilee (Book of Jubilees). And in the first year of the first week of the fifth jubilee, houses were built on Earth, and Cain built a city and called its name after the name of his son, Enoch."

…Biblical scholars have long been puzzled by the name of a descendant of Adam through Sheth and through Cain "Enoch" (meaning "Founding," "Foundation"), as well as other similarities in descendants’ names. Whatever the reason, it is evident that the sources on which the Bible’s editors had relied attributed to both Enochs – who were perhaps one prehistoric person – extraordinary deeds. The Book of Jubilees states that Enoch "was the first among men that were born on Earth who learnt writing and knowledge and wisdom who wrote down the signs of heaven according to their months in a book." According to The Book of Enoch, this patriarch was taught mathematics and knowledge of the planets and the calendar during his heavenly journey, and was shown the location of the "Seven Metal Mountains" on Earth, "in the west."

…The pre-biblical Sumerian texts known as the King List also relate the story of a pre-Deluvial ruler who was taught by the gods all manner of knowledge. His epithet-name was EN.ME.DUR.AN.KI – "Lord of the Knowledge of the Foundations of Heaven and Earth" – and a very probable prototype of the biblical Enochs.

…The Nahuatl tales of wandering , arrival at a final destination, settling marked by the building of a city; of a patriarch with two wives and sons of whom tribal nations have evolved; of one that became renowned for being a craftsman in metals – do they not read almost as the biblical tales? Even the Nahuatl stressing of the number seven is reflected in the biblical tales, for the seventh descendant through the line of Cain, Lamech, enigmatically proclaimed that "Seven fold shall Cain be avenged, and Lamech seventy and seven."

…Are we, then, encountering in the traditions of the seven Nahuatl tribes echoes – olden memories – of the banished line of Cain and his son Enoch?

…The Aztecs called their capital Tenochtitlan, the city of Tenoch, so naming it after their ancestor. Considering that in their dialect the Aztecs had prefixed many words with the sound T, Tenoch could have originally been Enoch if the prefixed T is dropped.

…A Babylonian text based in the opinion of scholars on an earlier Sumerian text from the third millennium B.C. enigmatically relates a conflict, ending in murder, between the earth-tilling and a shepherding brother, just as the biblical Cain and Abel were. Doomed to "roam in sorrow," the offending leader, called Ka’in, migrated to the land of Dunnu and there "he built a city with twin towers."

…Twin towers atop the temple-pyramids were a hallmark of Aztec architecture. Did this commemorate the building of a "city with twin towers" by Ka’in? And was Tenochtitlan, the "City of Tenoch," so named and built because Cain, millennia earlier, "built a city and called the city his son’s name, Enoch?"

…Have we found in Mesoamerica the lost realm of Cain, the city named after Enoch? The possibility certainly offers plausible answers to the enigma of Man’s beginnings in these domains.

…It may also shed light on two other enigmas – that of the "Mark of Cain" and the hereditary trait common to all the Amerindians: the absence of facial hair.

…According to the biblical tale, after the Lord had banished Cain from the settled lands and decreed that he become a wanderer in the East, Cain was concerned about being slain by vengeance seekers. So the Lord, to indicate that Cain was wandering under the Lord’s protection, "set aside unto Cain, that any one finding him should not smite him." Although no one knows what this distinguishing "sign" had been, it has been generally assumed that it was some kind of a tattoo on Cain’s forehead. But from the ensuing biblical narrative it appears that the matter of vengeance and the protection against it continued into the seventh generation and beyond. A tattoo on the forehead could not last that long nor be transmitted from generation to generation. Only a genetic trait, transmitted hereditarily can fit the biblical data.

…And, in view of the particular genetic trait of the Amerindians – the absence of facial hair – one wonders whether it was this genetic change that was the "mark of Cain" and his descendants. If our guess is right, then Mesoamerica, as a focal point from which Amerindians spread north and south in the New World, was indeed the Lost Realm of Cain.

Image: Cain, by Giovanni Dupre.

Cain, by Giovanni Dupre.

Continue to Chapter 3: Realm of the Serpent Gods