Anthropoligical Museum – Mexico City

The Shared Knowledge of Ancient Civilisations

Andean Cross in a Mesoamerican Wall
Andean Cross in a Mesoamerican Wall

I am staring at a stone wall with the symbol of the Andean Cross carved into it feeling in a state of bewilderment. Most visitors passing through the world-class anthropological museum in Mexico City probably wouldn’t give this artefact a moment’s thought other to say, ‘ooh, that’s nice,’ but I spent three months in Peru researching ancient Andean cultures and the Andean Cross, or Southern Crux as it is sometimes known as, was central to the live of their ancient civilisations.

It is for this reason I am somewhat confused to find the same pattern and symbolism in the Mesoamerican region. Did the Aztecs and earlier Mexican tribes such as the Maya, Olmecs and Toltecs share the same belief systems as the Inca, Tiwanaku, Nazcans, Waris, Moches and all the other Andean civilisations – and if so why?

It turns out the cultures of Mesoamerica had much more in common with the Andean cultures than just the Southern Cross too. As my guide, Lucio leads me thorough the vast halls of the anthropological museum, I find all manner of repetitive symbols that feature heavily in both cultures together with strikingly similar mythology.

“The human skeleton in the snake´s mouth represents Quetzacoatl who in turn represent Venus,” Lucio tells me. Quetzacoatl is the creator God, or Sun God of the Aztecs. In earlier Mesoamerican cultures, the man fitting the same description and attributes is known as Kuk´ulkan. In Andean cultures, he was called Wirococha (Aymara) and Choquechinchay (Quechua).

In tribal myth of the Mesoamericans and the Andeans, the Sun God – Quetzacoatl, Wirococha etc. – was banished from the empire he taught the natives to build. This mysterious man-god is described as having long hair and beard and dressed in long robes. The image sound very much like a European Druid or monk. In the myths, the Sun God is said to return. That day for the Inca and the Aztecs was when the Spanish arrived.

Human sacrifices

The biggest room in the museum complex is dedicated to the Aztecs. In 1325, they built a gigantic settlement in a swamp and called it Tenochtitlan. Today it is known as Mexico City and is slowly sinking. The Aztec city was destroyed in 1521 after the Spanish arrived. Salvaged from the ruins are carved statues of the Gods, ceramics bowls carved into part animal-part human depictions.

“This bowl was used to hold the human heart during a sacrificial offering to the Gods,” Lucio tells me. There is also evidence of mass human sacrifices in Peru.

Just as with the Andean culture, the Mesoamericans carved their ceramics and depicted in their artwork many different types of animals that were considered sacred to them. In the southern Peruvian city of Puno, there were massive sculptures of frogs which were considered sacred by the ancient Aymara because of their connection with water and rain. Lucio tells me “the frog was a messenger to say the rain was coming.”

The cultures in both regions also believed in duality and we see representations of this in their sculptures and artwork. A mask with two sides to the face, is a prime example, a bust with twin-like heads is another. Sculptures of men with huge protruding manhoods were used as an idol representing the reproductive system and a symbol of fertility.

The planets and the stars

Another notable similarity between both cultures is an obsession and extraordinary knowledge of the cosmos. The Maya are the earliest known civilisation to have had an in-depth understanding of the cycles of the Universe, and we can also see this in a fascinating discovery unearthed in Aztec Calendar - colourAztecs Temples. A massive stone calendar weighing 24 tons and measuring 3.5m in diameter feature some incredible numbers.

The second concentric circle has 20 holes representing the number of days in an Aztec month. They had 18 months a year which made up 365 days. On the outer edges are 52 squares representing the cycle of the Pleiades star system which takes 52 years to complete a full circle round the Earth. The Maya calendar famed for its association with the 2012 Doomsday fiasco also calculated the procession of the equinoxes – a cycle that takes around 26000 years to complete. How did the ancients know this if they were not more advanced than conventional history will have us believe?

Another curious artefact was a sculpture of an acrobat found in the tomb of a Shaman. The figure laid on his front with his legs arched backwards so that his feet touched is head is a position in yoga suggesting this part of the world had contact with the Far East. The shape of his body resembles the oval-shaped Wirococha Stone found in Peru.

There are more oriental looking sculptures in the museum as well. So too, Africans. The Olmecs existed between 2300BCE-200BCE and are thought to be the mother of Mesoamerican civilisation. They sculptured huge heads weighing up to 50 tons. But the faces on these heads do not resemble local peoples, but cultures from the Pacific and Africa. Lucio tells me, “The nose is of the Jaguar, not African, but of the Jaguar.”

Ceramic China Man
Ceramic China Man

That may be so, but it doesn´t seem right when you consider the Chinese looking figurines and yoga performing statue that are clearly from the Far East. No explanation has been offered about these artefacts, and will probably go ignored. Lucio also told me that, “the squint eyes on Olmec heads represent the hierarchy because they were the only ones who could get close to the sun Gods.”

Really?! Are we really expected to believe this drivel?

I´m not blaming Lucio for telling me this nonsense, it is clearly in the museum’s script. What is obvious is the fact there is information about the history of mankind that is being systematically hidden by scholars and institutions. You hear of the same kind of lame answers given by Egyptologists when quizzed about the pyramids of Giza and other ancient artefacts as well.

The ancient cultures of Mesoamerica and the Andes clearly shared the same knowledge and believes. We can see that is the patterns of their symbols, archetypes, myths, obsession with astronomy and human sacrifices. But what is the knowledge that made them such an advanced race, where did they get it from and where did it go?

Or does it still exist?

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