First and foremost – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANK, JR. 1 DAY LATE. Now do not think I am a terrible mother. I desparately wanted to be able to get on here and wish my boy a happy day on his actual day, July 28, but the master of the house was in when I finally got home and I could not use the computer. I am a guest in their house after all… It is still hard to believe that I now have 2 of my 4 children 21 or older. I hope his father and he enjoyed their planned night of manly beer swilling and bowling. hehe
I am not doing anything today except for packing and I am told, tasting Tequila. I did not get to finish my blog about the Great Temple and then yesterday I took the city tour and went to the Museum of Anthropolgy.
EEK! I am here alone and all of a sudden a guy comes into the house. It is a family memeber, but scared the begeesus out of me.
Back to the boring travelogue. Anyway, I was trying to tell you guys about the Great Temple, or Templo Meyor, as it is called here. When Mexico City was originally founded, it had been built on a swampy kind of island in the middle of a lake. ( now all the buildings climbing the sides of the mountains resemble the missing water) They found a type of tree that resisted rot and used it to make moorings for their buildings. They then used rock and mortar, covered in stucco (which is amazingly strong and durable) and built their city where they had seen the sign. The sign was an eagle which had landed ontop of a cactus with a serpent in his beak. This was the sign that a great city should be built. ( I do not follow that thought, but I am not an ancient indian either) In the center of this city was the temple that they used for sacrificial rituals, burial of the dead and all the other important things that go on in a city and religious center. Thru each ruler, another layer of temple was built because each ruler wanted a better temple. Six stages of construction have been found at this site and many artifacts have been recovered, including the Sun Stone. Most people mistakenly believe that the sun stone is the Aztec Calendar, but even tho it does have symbols relating to the days and months and such, it was actually the stone that warriors would do battle on with the loser being the sacrifice to the sun god. Too cool.
Ok, there is so much information to convey, I get a little off the track, but the general gist is this. Current Mexico City, sits on the archeological treasure trove of the old city. This one part , Templo Mayor, just happened to be found and they began to excavate the place in 1978. Even tho they had found things previously on this site, they did not really take the place seriously until an archeologist named, GET THIS , Moctezuma, finally showed the government what a national treasure it was. So, now the Presidential palace, the Cathedral, the Zocalo and much of the historic district of Mexico City sit on the old city. When the Spanish conquered the Mexicas, they destroyed and salted the old city and just built right on top. In fact, the Presidential palace sits on top of the house of the leader, Moctezuma.
Many of the artifacts that have been found at the multiple ruins sites all over Mexico are housed in the Museum of Anthropology. It was awesome to finally see the Sun Stone and many other treasures. It is incredible how much detail went into the carvings and decoration for thier cities and temples and the art work that would accompany the dead or be in boxes as offereings.
I see that Yahoo will let you embed video as well as photos now… maybe I will try that when I get home so that you can see some of the things that I did.
Tomorrow I come home, so I will probably have some pics for anyone interested on here soon.