Ancient Hi-Tech Teotihuacán

Established around 100 BC, the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán is an archaeological marvel. When surveyors mapped the entire complex in the 1960’s, it was revealed that the city had been built according to an urban grid centered around two perpendicular axis: N-S and E-W.

This set of alignments reflected geographic, architectural and astronomical knowledge some would call far ahead of its time. However, one of the most intriguing finds was made in the early 20th century, when a sheet of mica was discovered in the upper levels of the Pyramid of the Sun. Thick sheets of mica were also found under the rock-slab floor of a complex now called the Mica Temple. There were two 90 square foot sheets placed on top of each other in the Mica Temple, each of them 30 centimeters ( 1 foot) thick.

Mica refers to a group of sheet silicate minerals with interesting properties that make it very useful in modern technology. Mica sheets are chemically inert thermal and electrical insulators and are used anywhere from electronic components to radiation shields in space vehicles.

The mica sheets at Teotihuacán have been traced to a quarry located in Brazil, some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away. The same South American mica was also used in several Olmec sites. Undoubtedly, transporting huge sheets of this fragile mineral was a daunting task, therefore the sheets must have played an important role. The fact that they were placed under the stone flooring clearly demonstrates they did not serve ornamental purposes.

Is it possible that the builders of Teotihuacán possessed knowledge that we’ve only held for a couple hundred years? If so, what purpose did the mica sheets serve? What precious object was located under the Mica Temple that it required shielding from electromagnetic radiation?

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