Chapter 3: Realm of the Serpent Gods

“When Tenochtitlan attained its greatness, the Toltec capital of Tula had already been recalled as the legendary Tollan. And when the Toltecs had built their city, Teotihuacan was already enshrined in myth. Its name has meant “Place of the Gods”; and that, according to recorded tales, was exactly what it had been.

Image: Pyramid of Sun at night, Teotihuacan. Mexico

Pyramid of Sun at night, Teotihuacan. Mexico

Image: These Pyramids are connected by the Avenue of the Dead, nearly five straight miles long.

These Pyramids are connected by the Avenue of the Dead, nearly five straight miles long.

Image: Pyramid of the Moon and Plaza.

Pyramid of the Moon and Plaza.

“It is told that there was a time when calamities befell the Earth, and the Earth fell into darkness, for the sun failed to appear. Only at Teotihuacan there was light, for a divine flame remained burning there…

“…They (the concerned gods) asked for a volunteer to jump into the flame, and by this sacrifice bring back the sun… one of the gods offered, but he lacked courage when facing the flame; another god then jumped and the first, now shamed followed. “As the gods were consumed, the Sun and Moon reappeared in the skies…

“…The tale is intimately connected with Teotihuacan‘s most renowned monuments, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. One version has it that the gods built the two pyramids to commemorate the two gods who had sacrificed themselves; another version states that the pyramids had already existed when the event was taking place, that the gods jumped into the divine fire from atop preexisting pyramids.

Image: Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon

Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon

“Whatever the legend, the fact is that the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon still rise majestically to this very day… Rising in a valley whose surrounding mountains act as a backdrop to an eternal stage, the pyramids force the visitor’s eyes to follow their upward slope, to the mountains beyond and the vista of the skies above. The monuments exude power, knowledge, intent; the setting bespeaks a conscious linking of Earth with Heaven. No one can miss the sense of history, the presence of an awesome past.

“How far back in the past?… the date keeps slipping back… In the 1950s a leading archaeologist, M. Covarrubias, incredulously admitted that radiocarbon dating gave the place “the almost impossible date of 900 B.C.” (Indian Art of Mexico and Central America). In fact further radiocarbon test gave a date of 1474 B.C. (with a possible small error either way). A date of circa 1400 B.C. is now widely accepted; that is when the Olmecs, who may have been the people to actually toil in the building of Teotihuacan‘s monumental structures, were establishing great “ceremonial centers” elsewhere in Mexico.

“…Some scholars read in the ruins a tale that may have begun 6,000 years ago – in the fourth millennium B.C. This would certainly conform to the Aztec legends that spoke of this Place of the Gods as existing in the Fourth Sun. Then when the Day of Darkness happened circa 1400 B.C., the two great pyramids were raised to their monumental sizes.

The Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun are connected by the Avenue of the Dead (flanked by structures that were believed to be tombs).

“Past the Pyramid of the Sun, and another 3,000 feet southwards, one reaches the Ciudadela, a quadrangle that contains at its eastern side the third pyramid of Teotihuacan, called the Quetzalcoatl Pyramid. It is now known that facing the Ciudadela, across the Avenue of the Dead, there existed a similar quadrangle that served mostly as a lay administrative-commercial center. The Avenue then continues further south; the Teotihuacan Mapping Project led by Rene Millon in the 1960s established that this north-south avenue extended for nearly five miles – longer than the longest runways at modern airports. In spite of this remarkable length, the wide avenue runs straight as an arrow – quite a technological feat at any time.

“An east-west axis, perpendicular to the north-south avenue, extended eastward from the Ciudadela and westward from the administrative quadrangle. Members of the Teotihuacan Mapping Project found south of the Pyramid of the Sun a marker chiseled into the rocks in the shape of a cross within two concentric circles; a similar marker was found about two miles to the west, on a mountainside. A sight line connecting the two markers precisely indicates the direction of the east-west axis, and the other arms of the crosses match the orientation of the north-south axis. The researchers concluded that they had found markers used by the city’s original planners; they did not offer a theory to explain what means were used in antiquity to draw a beadline between two such distant spots.

“That the ceremonial center had been oriented and laid out deliberately is evident from several other facts. The first one is that the San Juan river that flows in the Teotihuacan valley has been deliberately diverted where it crosses the ceremonial center: artificial channels divert the river to flow at the Ciudadela and along the quadrangle facing it exactly parallel to the east-west axis, then after two precise right-angle turns along the west-leading avenue.

“The second fact indicating a deliberate orientation is that the two axes are not pointing to the cardinal points but are tilted to the southeast by 15 ½ degrees. Studies show that this was not an accident or a miscalculation by the ancient planners. A.F. Aveni (Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica), calling this a “sacred orientation,” points out that later ceremonial centers (such as Tula and ones even further away) adhere to this orientation although it made no sense at their locations and when they were built. The conclusion of his researches was that, at Teotihuacan and at the time of its construction, the orientation was devised to enable celestial observations on certain key dates of the calendar.

Zelia Nuttal, in a paper delivered to the twenty-second International Congress of Americanists (Rome, 1926) suggested that the orientation was keyed to the passage of the Sun at the observer’s zenith, which occurs twice a year as the Sun appears to move from north to south and back. If such celestial observations were the purpose of the pyramids, their ultimate shape – step pyramids equipped with staircases, leading to presumed viewing-temples on the topmost platform – would make sense… The possibility, even probability, that the stairways were a late addition is suggested to us by the fact that the first stage of the grand stairway of the Sun Pyramid is tilted and improperly aligned with the pyramid orientation.

“Of the three pyramids at Teotihuacan the smallest is the Quetzalcoatl pyramid in the “Citadel.” A later addition was partly excavated to reveal the original step-pyramid. The partly exposed facade reveals sculptured decorations in which the serpent symbol of Quetzalcoatl alternates with a stylized face of Tlaloc against a background of wavy waters. This pyramid is ascribed to Toltec times and is akin to many other Mexican pyramids.

“The two larger pyramids, by contrast, are totally undecorated. They are of a different size and shape and stand out in their massiveness and antiquity. In all these aspects they resemble the two great pyramids at Giza, which likewise differ in all these counts from all the other, subsequent Egyptian pyramids; the latter were built by Pharaohs, whereas the unique ones at Giza were built by the “gods.” Perhaps that is also what had happened at Teotihuacan; in which case the archaeological evidence would support the legends of how the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon had come to be.

“Although, in order to enable their use as observatories, the two great pyramids of Teotihuacan were built as step-pyramids topped by platforms and equipped with stairways (as the Mesopotamian ziggurats had been), there can be no doubt that their architect was acquainted with the Giza pyramids in Egypt and, except for adjusting the outer shape, emulated the great Giza pyramids. One amazing similarity: although the Second Pyramid at Giza is shorter than the Great Pyramid, their peaks are at the same height above sea level because the Second Pyramid is built on correspondingly higher ground; the same holds true at Teotihuacan, where the smaller Pyramid of the Moon is built on ground some thirty feet higher than the Pyramid of the Sun, giving their peaks equal heights above sea level.

“The similarities are especially obvious between the two greater pyramids. Both are built on artificial platforms. Their sides measure almost the same: about 754 feet in Giza, about 745 feet at Teotihuacan, and the latter would fit neatly into the former.

“…One need not ignore the existence of certain and considerable differences. The Great Pyramid at Giza is built of large stone blocks carefully shaped and matched and held together without mortar… The Sun Pyramid was built of mud bricks, adobe, pebbles, and gravel, held together by a sheath of crude stones and stucco.

The Giza pyramid contains an inner complex of corridors, galleries, and chambers of intricate and precise construction; The Teotihuacan pyramid does not appear to have such inner structures… The Great Pyramid has four triangular sides that rise at the tricky angle of 52 degrees; the two at Teotihuacan consist of stages that rest one atop the other, with sides that slope inward for stability, beginning with a slope of 43½ degrees.

“These are significant differences that reflect the different times and purposes of each set of pyramids. But in the very last difference lies, hitherto unnoticed to all previous researchers, a key to the solution of some puzzles.

“The rather steep angle of 52 degrees has been attained in Egypt only in the Giza pyramids, which were built neither by Cheops or any other Pharaoh (as proven in previous books of The Earth Chronicles) but by the gods of the ancient Near East, as beacons for landing at their spaceport in the Sinai peninsula.

Pharaohs could not match the 52 degree angle:

“…Pharaoh Sneferu failed with his first pyramid, it collapsed… his second one had to conform with the 43½ degrees, which was called the Bent Pyramid… Sneferu then proceeded to build his third one, it is called the Red Pyramid for the color of its stones and it rises at the safe angle of 43½ degrees.

“…Is it only a coincidence that the Pyramid of the Sun and the Great Pyramid of Giza have the same base measurements? Perhaps. It is by mere chance that the precise 43½ degree angle adopted by the Pharaoh Zoser and perfected in his step-pyramid was followed at Teotihuacan? We doubt it. Whereas a shallower angle, say 45 degrees, could have been attained by an unsophisticated architect simply by diving in two a right angle (90 degrees), the 43½ degree angle resulted in Egypt from a sophisticated adaptation of the factor Pi (about 3.14), which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

“…How then did the 43½ degree angle appear in the structures of the two unique (to Mesoamerica) pyramids of Teotihuacan, if not through someone familiar with the constructions of the Egyptian pyramids?

“Except for the unique Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptian pyramids were equipped only with a lower passageway that usually began at or near the edge of the pyramid’s base and continued under it. Should one ascribe as mere coincidence the existence of such passageway under the Pyramid of the Sun?

“…What was the purpose of the complex subterranean structure? Since the segmenting walls had been breached before the discovery in modern times, it is not possible to say whether the remains of clay vessels, obsidian blades and charcoal ashes belong to the earliest phase of the tunnel’s use. But the question of what, besides celestial observation, was going on at Teotihuacan, has been compounded by other discoveries.

“The Avenue of the Dead seems to stretch as a wide, smooth runway from the plaza of the Pyramid of the Moon to the southern horizon; but in fact its smooth flow is interrupted in a section situated between the Pyramid of the Sun and the San Juan river. The overall slope from the Pyramid of the Moon to the Pyramid of the Sun is even more accentuated in this section of the Avenue, and the on-site examination clearly indicates that the slope was achieved by deliberate cutting into the native rock; overall, the drop from the Pyramid of the Moon to a point past the Ciudadela is some ninety feet. Here six segments have been created by the erection of a series of double walls perpendicular to the course of the Avenue. The Avenue’s cavity is further lined with walls and low structures, resulting in six semi subterranean compartments open to the sky. The perpendicular walls are fitted with sluices at their floor level. The impression is that the whole complex served to channel water that flowed down the Avenue. The flow may have begun at the Pyramid of the Moon (where a subterranean tunnel was found encircling it), and been linked in some manner to the subterranean tunnel of the Pyramid of the Sun. The series of compartments then retained and eventually let out the water from one to the other, until ultimately the water reached the diverting channel of the San Juan river.

“The association of this inland site is further suggested by the discovery of a huge stone statue of Chalchiuhtlicue, the goddess of water and the spouse of Tlaloc, the rain god.

Image: Rain God Tlaloc Honoring Maice God Cinteotl.

Rain God Tlaloc Honoring Maice God Cinteotl.

Image: Rain God Tlaloc

Rain God Tlaloc

“…In her pictorial depictions, the goddess, whose name means “Lady of Waters,” was usually shown wearing a jade skirt decorated with conch shells… turquoise earrings and a necklace of jade or other blue-green stones from which hung a golden medallion… Her pictorial depictions often showed her wearing a crown of serpents or otherwise adorned with them, indicating her being one of the serpent gods of the Mexicans.

“Was Teotihuacan laid out and constructed as some kind of a waterworks, employing water for some technological processes? Before we answer the question, let us mention another puzzling discovery there.

“Alongside the third segment down from the Pyramid of the Sun, excavations of a series of interconnected subterranean chambers revealed that some of the floors were covered with layers of thick sheets of mica. This is a silicone whose special properties make it resistant to water, heat, and electrical currents. It has therefore been used as an insulator in various chemical processes and electrical and electronic applications, and in recent times in nuclear and space technologies.

“…According to expert opinions, the mica found at Teotihuacan is of a type that is found only in faraway Brazil. Traces of this mica were also found on remains removed from the Pyramid of the Sun’s stages when it was being uncovered early in this century. What was the use to which this insulating material was put at Teotihuacan?

“Our own impression is that the presence of the Lord and Lady of Water alongside the principal deity, Quetzalcoatl; the sloping avenue; the series of structures, subterranean chambers, tunnels; the diverted river; the semi subterranean sections with their sluices; and the underground compartments lined with mica – were all components of a scientifically conceived plant for the separation, refining or purification of mineral substances.

“…Who, besides the gods, were the original dwellers of Teotihuacan? Who had carried the stones and mortar to raise its first pyramids? Who had channeled the waters and operated the sluices?

“Those who assume that Teotihuacan is no older than a few centuries B.C. have a simple answer: the Toltecs. Those who lean toward a much earlier beginning have started to point to the Olmecs, an enigmatic people who emerged in the Mesoamerican scene in the middle of the second millennium B.C. But the Olmecs themselves pose many puzzles, for they appear to have been black Africans; and that too is anathema to those who simply cannot accept transatlantic crossing millennia ago.

“…Circa 200 B.C. whoever had lorded over Teotihuacan picked up and left, and the place became a Toltec city… Then, a thousand years after they had drifted in, (centuries preceding the Christian era) the Toltecs too packed up and left. No one knows why; but the departure was total and Teotihuacan became a desolate place, living only in memories of a golden past.

“Some believe that the event coincided with the establishment of Tollan as the Toltecs’ new capital, circa A.D. 700… The rediscovery began toward the end of the nineteenth century… confirmed not only the city’s existence but also its history as told in various codices, especially the one known as Anales de Cuauhtitlan. It is now known that Tollan was ruled by a dynasty of priest-kings who claimed to have been descendants of the god Quetzalcoatl and therefore, in addition to their given name, also bore the god’s name as a patronym – a custom that was prevalent among the Egyptian pharaohs… In the second half of the tenth century A.D. the ruler was Ce Acatl Topiltzin-Quetzalcoatl; his name and time are certain because a portrait of his, accompanied by a date equivalent to A.D. 968, can still be seen carved on a rock overlooking the site of the city.

“It was in this time that a religious conflict broke up out among the Toltecs; it seems that it concerned the demand by part of the priesthood to introduce human sacrifices in order to pacify the War God. In A.D. 987 Topiltzin-Quetzalcoatl and his followers left Tollan and migrated eastward, emulating the early legendary departure of the divine Quetzalcoatl. They settled in Yucatan.

“Two centuries later natural calamities and onslaughts by other tribesmen brought the Toltecs to their knees… Thus it was that in A.D. 1168 or thereabouts Tollan became a desolate city, left to decay and disintegrate.

Image: Carved Wall of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent.

Carved Wall of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent.

Mr. Sitchin continues describing in several subsequent paragraphs, the findings of artifacts and studying the plans of the city, which was emulating Teotihuacan. Major findings were also achieved in the 1940s under Jorge R. Acosta… Work was focused on the smaller pyramid that has variably been referred to (at first) as Pyramid of the Moon, then as Pyramid “B” and lately as the Qetzalcoatl Pyramid. The designation stems primarily from the long native name for the mound that means “Lord of the Morning Star,” presumably one of the epithets of Quetzalcoatl, and from the remain of colored plasterwork and low reliefs that adorned the pyramid’s stages, evidencing that its decorations were dominated by the Feathered Serpent motif.

“The greatest archaeological treasure trove was found when the Acosta teams realized that the northern side of this pyramid was disturbed in pre-Hispanic times… the archaeologists found a trench, which was as high as the pyramid… was used to bury in it a great number of stone sculptures. When these were taken out, stood up and fitted together, it became clear that these were sections of the two round gateway columns, four square columns that are believed to have held up the roof of the pyramid’s temple, and four colossal humanlike statues, more than fifteen feet high that came to be known as the Atlantes… The facial features are not readily identifiable and so far have defied comparison with any known racial group; but although the four faces hold the same remote expression, a close examination shows them to be slightly different and individual.

Image: Atlantes Statues at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Atlantes Statues at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Image: Atlantes Statues at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Atlantes Statues at the Temple of the Morning Star.

“Whom do these giant statues represent? Their first discoverers called them “idols,” certain that they represented deities. Popular writers nicknamed them Atlantes, which implied both that they might have been offspring of the Goddess Atlatona, “She Who Shines in the Water,” and also that they might have come from the legendary Atlantis. Less imaginative scholars see them simply as Toltec warriors, who hold in their left hand a bunch of arrows, and an atl-atl (a curved spear or arrow thrower) in the right hand. But this interpretation cannot possibly be correct, for the “arrows” in the left hand are not straight but curved; and we have seen that the left-handed weapon was the atl-atl. At the same time, the weapon held in the right hand is not curved as the atl-atl must be, what is it, then?

Image: Detail showing of Atlantes at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Detail showing of Atlantes at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Image: Detail showing of Atlantes at the Temple of the Morning Star.

Detail showing of Atlantes at the Temple of the Morning Star.

“The instrument looks rather like a pistol (image below) in its holster held by two fingers. An interesting theory suggesting that it was not a weapon but a tool, a “plasma pistol,” was advanced by Gerardo Levet (Mission Fatal). He discovered that one of the square pilasters depicting Toltec chieftains has, engraved in an upper left-hand corner, the image of a person wearing a backpack and holding the tool in question; he uses it as a flame thrower to shape a stone. The tool is unquestionably the same instrument held in the giants’ right hands. Levet suggests that it was a high energy “pistol” used to cut and carve stones, and he points out that such Thermo-Jet torches were used in modern time to carve the giant monument of Georgia’s Stone Mountain.


“…On the other hand, the depicted tool may serve to explain another enigmatic aspect of Tollan.

“…The archaeologists (Acosta’s) discovered that the external and visible pyramid was built over and hid an earlier pyramid whose stepped stages lay some eight feet away on each side. They also discovered remains of vertical walls that suggested the existence of inner chambers and passages within the earlier pyramid (but have not pursued these leads). They did come upon an extraordinary feature – a stone pipe made of perfectly fitting tubular sections with an inner diameter of about eighteen inches. The long pipe was installed inside the pyramid at the same angle as its original incline and ran through the whole height… The position and incline of the unusual, if not unique, tubular contraption was obviously part of the original plan of the pyramid and integral to the structure’s purpose. The fact that the remains of the adjoining multichambered and multistoried buildings suggest some industrial processing, and also the fact that in antiquity water from the Tula river was channeled by these buildings, raise the possibility that at this site, as at Teotihuacan, some kind of a purification and refining process had taken place at a very early period.

“What comes to our mind is this: Was the enigmatic tool a tool not to engrave stones, but to break up stones for their ores? Was it, in other words, a sophisticated mining tool?

“And was the mineral sought after, gold?

“…The fact that at some pre-Hispanic time the colossal images were disassembled and carefully lowered into the depths of the pyramid and buried there, implies a measure of sanctity. Indeed, it all confirms the statement by Sahagun… that when the Toltecs abandoned Tollan “they buried many things” some of which, even in Sahagun’s time, “were brought up from under the ground and not without admiration for their beauty and workmanship.”

“…The four Atlanteans stood atop the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, supporting the ceiling of the temple atop the pyramid as though they were holding up the Celestial Canopy. This is the role played in Egyptian beliefs by the four sons of Horus, who were holding up the sky at the four cardinal points. According to the Book of the Dead, it was these four gods, who linked Heaven and Earth, who accompanied the deceased pharaoh to a sacred stairway whereby he would ascend heavenward for an eternal afterlife. This “Stairway to Heaven” was depicted hieroglyphically as either a single or a double stairway, the latter representing a step pyramid. Was it just a coincidence that the stairway symbol decorated the walls around the Tollan pyramid and became a major Aztec iconographic symbol?

“…Quetzalcoatl (the Nahuatl peoples’s hero-god), giver of all their knowledge, the “Feathered Serpent.” But what, one may ask, was a “feathered” serpent if not a serpent that, birdlike, had wings and could fly?

“And if so, the concept of Quetzalcoatl as the “Feathered Serpent” was non other than the Egyptian concept of the Winged Serpent that facilitated the transfiguration of the deceased pharaoh to the realm of the ever-living gods.

“In addition to Quetzalcoatl, the Nahuatl pantheon was replete with deities associated with serpents.

“…And so, unacceptable as this might be to pragmatic scholars, mythology, archaeology, and symbolism led to the unavoidable conclusion that Central Mexico, if not all of Mesoamerica, was the realm of the Serpent Gods – the gods of ancient Egypt.

Image: Mayan sculpture of Winged Serpent. Human figure standing atop the head of a Winged Serpent. Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Mayan sculpture of Winged Serpent. Human figure standing atop the head of a Winged Serpent. Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Continue to Chapter 4: Skywatchers in the Jungles