President Jordan had never seen the Tamtoc ruins and even though we knew they would be officially closed since it is Monday, he decided to drive over there. The drive itself was interesting and once we turned off the main road, it was 8 miles of back roads but every gate (and there were many) was opened. We saw scattered houses and cowboys on their horses. We saw the beautiful green countryside and had to stop once while a backhoe leveled a patch of fill-dirt on the road. We waited and went on and arrived at the main gate which was open.
President Jordan went inside and found a guide willing to take us around the ruins. We can see at least "two tender" mercies here--we were allowed to enter the ruins plus rain was predicted but it couldn't have been a more beautiful day.
The area of the ruins is a mile square and a lot of it is beautiful grass. The guide said that the land here is flat and anything not flat is man-made. Keep that in mind--we did. We visited a few areas before we walked to the astronomy tower
and learned that these ruins (city) were started in about 600 B.C.
|The man-made astronomy tower from a distance|
|The astronomy tower with the original stairs on the right.|
Zoom in, and behind the darker mountains are lighter mountains and there is a gap in the lighter mountains a little right of center. On December 23 the sun sets in the gap indicating the shortest day of the year--from that information, they figure out their calendar for the rest of the year. The gap and this tower line up perfectly with the first ruins we went to farther east where they also used shadows of a corner of their tower to mark the seasons in their calendar year. We asked our guide how long it took too make the tower, thinking it could have taken years, and he said it could have taken generations.
|view from the tower|
|all of us on top of the astronomy tower.|
The humps below show where anciently the priests and their family were buried
They built the retaining walls behind us to keep the dirt out while they got that huge calendar up.
Keep in mind that anything not flat is man-made.
This snake moved very quickly probably because we were there and the hawks above were circling around it. It is about 7 feet long and poisonous.
Below is an overview of the ancient city center with the remaining foundations indicating the location of all of it's administration buildings.