On Location: Mummies, Curses! Teotihuacan!
“Mummies, curses, pyramids! What's not to like?” Steve said when I asked why he was so excited about a Central American setting for the next Taurs arc. first hints for the upcoming storyline!
We had an amazing time scouting Teotihuacan and Cholula for the next big Taurs adventure. About an hour outside of Mexico City, Teotihuacan was the sixth-largest city in the world at its peak around 500 CE. The 80-square kilometer site features the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and assorted outbuildings and small temple sites. Most hotels offer day trips, or you can do what we did and get a driver to take you. Highly recommended!
Climb to the top of the 70-meter high Pyramid of the Sun. (Not something you can do in Egypt - Take that, Cheops.) Feeling the energy at the top of the pyramid, you can see why the ancients were so driven to worship in these places. Terraces provide convenient rest stops on the way. Steve had interesting thoughts about how a 1500 lb centaur like Cera might climb to the top of a pyramid. ideas included Dungeons & Dragons spells Reverse Feather Fall and Grasping Vine, pulling herself up by tendrils growing out of existing jungle foliage.
Admiring 1500-year-old murals, our guide explained that the ancient inhabitants thought parrots were sacred because they could speak like people. In the famous mural of the Jaguar, wavy lines indicate an aquatic environment. Circles represent the rain goddess.
The site is covered with hawkers selling all kinds of tourist items. My favorite was a painting demonstration of how the ancient inhabitants had used natural pigments: yellow from flowers, green from plant stems, blue from powdered lapis lazuli mixed with the sap of a cactus. (Mom seemed pleased that I had known that you could make blue pigment with lapis - College degree in art history validated!)
We also had an interesting stop by a shop that sold stone carvings like those made by the original inhabitants of the site. Note dog on roof!
I think Steve had originally wanted my parents to see the same amazing site that we had toured last December, but as he went, he became more and more excited about incorporating a meso-Amercan Pyramid into the next Taurs. It'll be a great chance for Whitney to draw temple #2, far different from Iresteura, inspired by Angkor Wat, 9,000 miles away in Cambodia.
Three days later found us in the town of Cholula, home to the largest pyramid site in the world. Expanded over several centuries, it features pyramids nested inside each other like a Russian doll. In the exploratory tunnel through the heart of the complex, we saw many side passages revealing stairways and walls layered on top of each other. A small museum with models, murals, and pottery, tells the history of the site from first settlement to the Conquistadors. It's a dramatic and violent history.
We went to mexico because my mother received an honorary doctorate from the National University (UNAM). Here's a link to her speech on the cosmic future of the Earth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjnFXdafnQ8&t=2261s (Her speech in English starts just after Minute 17)
Thanks so much to Mom and Dad for taking us to this beautiful place. The Mexican people were unfailingly kind, warm, and generous. And don't forget the great food!
stay tuned for where Mig and Cera might turn up next. This is becoming a little bit like “where in the world is…?”