Thursday, March 13, 2008

Teotihuacan

On Tuesday I played hooky (as did my youngest student. He, his parents, and his younger brothers are "in charge" of the visiting work team) and went with a group visiting from Canada, eh, to see the pyramids of the sun and moon in Teotihuacan. I had very mixed feelings about it - on the one hand it was absolutely fascinating to see the complex structures the pre-Aztec people had planned and built. They laid out the city in such a way that it took more than one life time to build. At the height of their civilization, the city was comparable to ancient Rome in size and population. Quite thoroughly amazing.

On the other hand, it was a society that craved blood. They worshiped the sun, moon, Quetalcoatl (god of the wind), and other gods. These gods required human sacrifice, the type where the victim's heart was taken, still beating, from their chest and held up to heaven. At times the sacrifices were so plentiful that blood ran out of the stone mouths of creatures carved lower on the pyramid.

Whether the dark, evil practices of thousands of years ago still affect the place, I don't know, but I did wonder just how much I should appreciate the architecture and designs of these places of sacrifice.

Trudging up the first set of (very steep) stairs on the pyramid of the sun

--------------- Crawling out of a water tunnel


At the top of the Sun pyramid

----------------- Two Rachels taking a rest on ancient ruins
I'm the one in the white shirt halfway up the temple stairs

------------------ The stairs really were that steep. Caleb keeps a firm grip on my student Seth's hand as they go down.

2 comments:

Bookwyrme said...

At times the sacrifices were so plentiful that blood ran out of the stone mouths of creatures carved lower on the pyramid.

Brrr.

I can see the conflict there--the city sounds incredible, but such dark foundations...

Roland said...

That is SO cool!