Atlantis and the Xochicalco-Pyramid

A comment on Augustus Le Plongeon

  by Jörg Dendl

last Update: January 8th 2008

Aufsatztitel -
                Die Pyramide von Xochicalco

Xochicalco Pyramid
tells story of the
Lost Continent of Atlantis

by Augustus Le Plongeon

[The roman ciphers were added to make it easier to follow the paragraphs of the commentary. JD]

I. The pyramid of Xochicalco, situated at an altitude of 5,395 feet above the level of the sea, to the south-southwest of the city of Cuernavaca, four and a half miles from the Indian village Tetlama, is, if not one of the most ancient constructions made by human hands, at least one of the most important in the history of man among modern civilized Christian and Mohammedan nations. This monument is a record, written on stone, of the tremendous cataclysm which caused the submergence and destruction of the Land of Mu (Plato´s Atlantis), together with its population of 64,000,000 human beings, about 11,500 years ago. Kommentar I

II. A few weeks ago Mr. C. V. Collins, manager of the Northwestern Agriculturist, published in Minneapolis, Minn., kindly lent to me several photographs of ancient monuments in Mexico, from which country he had recently returned, and upon which he was lecturing in Western cities. Among these photographs were some of the south side of the Pyramid of Xochicalco. Kommentar II

III. For more than than a century this pyramid has been visited and written upon by world famed European scientists, such as Alexander von Humboldt, and in our times M&aecute;hádin, member of the French Scientific Commissionto Mexico; Dr. Seler, of Berlin; Dr. Antonio Peñafiel, of Mexico, and others. Before them a Mexican monk, Father José Antonio Alzate, a learned physicist and astronomer, after visiting the famous ruins, wrote a description of them that was published in Mexico in 1787, and attempted a restoration of the monument; also Captain Dupaix wrote adescription of the same by order of the King of Spain in 1807 (published in Kingsboroughás great work, ´American Antiquities´, vol. V., p. 222).
Strange as it may appear, none of these scientists ever suspected the object the builders had in view when they erected the structure, therefore its great historical and scientific importance remained unknown to them. Humboldt calls it a military fortification, and Dupaix seems to have been of the same opinion; but both were unable to make out the nature of the designs adorning the edifice. Humboldt sees in them crocodiles throwing water; Dupaix garlands of flowers, fruits, animals and other mysterious objects; the meaning of the whole he was unable to make out.
A short description taken from the narratives of these two writers, who visited the monument a century ago, may not be out of place. Kommentar III

IV. It is built on an isolated natural hill, 117 màtres high, divided into five terraces by the hand of man, so as to form a graduated quadrilateral pyramid, whose faces front the cardinal points, the orientation being perfect. The sides were faced with walls of porphyritic stones, hewn perfectly square, forming courses of great regularity, covered with hieroglyphs and painted red.
The base of the pyramid was surrounded by a wide and deep ditch, measuring 4,000 mètres (about three miles) in circumference. The ascent to the platform was by a steep incline and a stairway on the west side of the monument. Said platfomr was about 9,000 màtres square, and on it were yet to be seen the ruins of a small square buildung, according to Humboldt. This was surrounded by a dry stone wall, which, according to Dupaix, served as a parapet. Kommentar IV

V. In the centre of the hill are galleries and chambers dug by the hand of man, their entrance being on the north side. There is little doubt that from these were quarried the stones used in the building of the monument.
This description is certainly most interesting on account of the many points of resemblance it bears to the hill upon which was situated the palace of the ancient kings and the temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, on the island of Atlantis, according to Plato´s narrative. Kommentar V

VI. The language used in the inscriptions, in which the record of the cataclysm is related, is the ancient Maya, and the writing, also Maya is in part pictorial and symbolic, but still of easy interpretation for one who holds the key. Kommentar VI

VII. The translation of some of the hieroglyphs will suffice for the present to show the object the builders had in view when they constructed the edifice. Who were they? To what race did they belong? With the means at our disposal to-day it is impossible to surmise. That they were not Mayas is certain, although they made use of the Maya language, alphabet and symbols.
The personages represented in the sculptures have their skulls artifically deformed, and are seated cross-legged. The Mayas never changed the shape of their heads by artificial means, and they very seldom, if ever, sat cross-legged. Kommentar VII

VIII. It is astonishing that the learned men who have visited and described the Pyramid of Xochicalco never even suspected that it was a mausoleum erected to commemorate some great and terrible event. A glance at the attitude of the personages pictured on the wall should have told them that this is such as any one would assume to express horror; for the men of old manifested their feelings by the same instinctive motions as do modern men.
What it was that inspired them with such consternation is made known to us by the following characters. Kommentar VIII

IX. In my book "Sacred Mysteries," now out of print, on page xii. of uts intruduction, is to be found the Maya alphabet, discovered by me, side by side with the Egyptian hieratic alphabet. Here it is seen that this Glyphe
                    I is one of the signs for our letter H, and the Maya character Glyphe
                    II corresponds to our letter U. These together give the Maya word huu (destruction), a word which is also the radical of all the vocables indicating destruction. (See J. P. Parez´s Maya Dictionary)
Under this word we find signs the meaning of which is "land in the Atlantic Ocean," I will explain: - If we follow the eastern coastline of the American continent from Newfoundland in the north to Cape Saint Roque in Brazil, we have exactly this Maya symbol, Glyphe
                    III, which repeatedly appears in the Troano manuscript in connection with the land of Mu.
The square inside is the Maya sign for our letters P and B. It stands for the Maya word balcah, which makes the "country and its inhabitants"; hence the land and its people in the Atlantic Ocean. Glyphe IV
Glyphe V Inside of the square are a full face with open mouth and the croup of an animal. These signs give the Maya word ppay, which means "to be reduced to atoms." Thus the whole sentence may be translated, "Destruction of the land and its inhabitants in the Atlantic Ocean by being reduced to atoms."
Here, then, we find an explanation of the attitude of horror and consternation portrayed by the human figures on the structure.
Kommentar IX
Glyphe VI

X. As to the serpent which Humboldt mistook for a crocodile ejecting water and whose undulations Dupaix imagined were a garland of flowers, getting his idea from the Mexican name Xochicalco (the house of flowers), what does this really represent? Again, it is the ocean, the sea, that involved everything within its folds after the earthquake. This serpent is differnet to the one used in Maya inscriptions, books and paintings as a symbol of the country, for it has no wings and no dart at the tail, nor is it the symbol of the king, for it has no mantle of feathers and no rattle at the tail. But it is, as the inscription under the characters I have just explained tells us, Canah, the migthy serpent, the ocean, the sea, whose symbol in the Troano manuscript is always a serpent head. Kommentar X

XI. On the fillet are again seen a number of figures seated crosslegged, with one of their hands resting on the land of MU, and by them are these other signs,

                  VII, ma, the land, and Glyphe
                  VIII earthquake.
Kommentar XI

XII. Lack of space prevents the presentation with interpretation of more of the hieroglyphs, but elsewhere these will certainly be fully given; meanwhile, the few here translated suffice to show that the pyramid was erected to commemorate a great cataclysm which occurred in the Atlantic Ocean on the day of

                  IX 13 Chuen, in the Maya month Zac, in the year Kan, which corresponds to our February 7, as also related by the authors of the Troano manuscript and the Codex Cortesianus. Kommentar XII

XIII. This, then, is the fifth and most important of the records in the Maya language of the cataclysm, a memory of which lingers as the appaling tradition of the Deluge among Christians, Jews and Mohammedans, in whose sacred books the narrative is preserved. Kommentar XIII

New York Herald, 10.03.1901, S. XXX

Back to the Top Back to Table of Contents