The Cuicuilco Pyramid

There is a great deal of controversy in certain circles regarding the Cuicuilco Pyramid.

Cuicuilco was an ancient city in the central Mexican highlands, on the southern shore of the Lake Texcoco in the southeastern Valley of Mexico, and for sometime there was speculation that it may be one of the most ancient structures on the planet.

Though recognised as “the oldest”, a central question was “how old”? National Geographic discussed Cuicuilco in 1923 (no. 44). In the 1922, Byron Cummings of the University of Arizona became interested in the structure when he learned that a geologist named George E. Hyde had estimated the age of the flow, the Pedregal lava flow, as being 7000 years old. This resulted in an obvious contradiction: how could a pyramid be 5000 years younger than the lava covering it?
Cummings decided to confirm or deny and found 18 feet of sediment and ashes between the bottom of the Pedregal layer and the pavement surrounding the temple pyramid. He came up with 8500 years as the timeframe how long it would require to accumulate. If correct, it would make Cuilcuilco by far the oldest building in Mexico – and the oldest pyramid in the world. But immediately, there was a problem, for the eruption of the volcano had never been dated to 6050 BC, but considered to be after 450 BC. It is clearly something was wrong, and the likeliest person to be wrong, was Cummings. Rather surprisingly, his conclusions were not immediately attacked or considered unlikely.

It seemed to fantastical to be true. That they had discovered something far older than any other exsiting structure:

Cummings worked before the invention of carbon-dating and hence he was only able to estimate, not date, the age of the sediments. In fact, rather than 8500 years old, he actually gave a timeframe of 8500 to 30,000 Before Present (BP).
With the invention of radiocarbon-dating, the sediments were dated to be only as old as 2200 BP (250 BC). Cummings’ observations were proven erroneous. At first, distinctive pottery from mounds associated with the pyramid and found buried beneath the Xitli lava flows by quarrying operations dated the initial construction of the “pyramid” to be between 800 to 600 BC, which was still older than commonly accepted, but at least not extravagantly outside the “accepted” timeframe.


Although science could not disprove everything:

Science brought answers. Though the dating of Cuicuilco has been ironed out, it was but one episode in a long list of anomalies that have attached themselves to the pyramid. The Spanish physician Hernandez, sent to Mexico by order of (King) Philip II, visited Cuicuilco and wrote to his sovereign about having found the bones of large beasts, along with those of “men” in excess of five meters tall. Natives expressed a belief that Cuicuilco’s enigmatic structure had been built by giants. Whereas the bones of these giants seem to have been lost, the beasts are now believed to have been the toxodon and the titanothere.
Furthermore, while Cummings was carrying out his excavations in the early 1920s, the site was apparently visited one night by an unidentified flying light that hovered over the ruins before speeding off into the distance.


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