When I was about 8 or 9 years old my brother and I were hunting with my father in an area southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona known as Sycamore Canyon. We’d finished hunting and were headed back home but we had to stop along the way for my father to relieve himself. A very large bald eagle was circling overhead as we stopped and while my father did his business my brother and I got out of the truck to watch the eagle. He was magnifient! I walked over to the other side of the dirt road near the base of what appeared to be a hill. I noticed a finely cut reddish stone protruding out of the dirt at the base of the hill and called my father and brother over to look at it. My father glanced at it and simply passed it off telling me, “Oh that’s just the foundation of some old pioneers house” and off we went back home. Well, even at my young age it certainly looked like something more than some old pioneers homestead foundation as the stone was perfectly cut, from what I could see of it, and polished. The reason I mention this story is because for decades now there have been rumors of an Aztec or Toltec pyramid located somewhere in Arizona but no one has ever found it. Even today I wonder if that stone might have been it. What was buried under that hill? Some old pioneers homestead or the legendary pyramid? I was young and do not know for certain where we were at the time other than we were leaving the Sycamore Canyon area and heading back to Flagstaff but someday I’m going back there to see if I can find the spot.
Here’s another story. South of Winslow, Arizona just past Sunset Pass where Highway 87 makes a southwestward turn and just before the turn off to Chavez Pass over on the east side of the highway behind a barbed wire fence used to sit a very large and obviously cut square piece of white stone. It was there for decades and I always thought is was out of place. The landscape behind this stone block was strewn with smaller white stones. Some appeared cut while others appeared cut off of larger junks. None of them were polished but they all were “in the ruff.” I always wanted to stop there when I was a boy and check it out because the whole site sure did look like some kind of ancient settlement to me! But, we never stopped and when I got older and was able to drive I went there once and found everything gone. All that remained were a few scattered pieces of white stone that looked like they’d been hacked off from larger pieces. The huge square cut stone was gone also and it was funny because outside of that location there were no such white stones at all. What happened to it all? Was it something natural or had there once been an ancient settlement there at one time built by some culture such as possibly the Aztec, Mayans, or Toltecs? And what happened to the big square cut stonework and the other cut stones in the area? Someone obviously whisked them away but who and why?
And then there are the Hoo-Doo Rocks located near Tucson, Arizona on Mt Lemmon. They look as though they could have once been carved by some ancient civilization. ONe resembles the head of Homer Simpson and if they were carved sculptures then the ancients must have had a sense of humor. There’s also another strange stone along Reddington Road east of Tucson and it looks like a big frog. Of course, all of these formations are attributed to erosion and nothing more and that may be so but some of them, like the Reddington Pass frog, sure look like eroded sculptures to me! And if you know anything about frog sculptures and the Toltec then you know that the frog motif was one of their favorite symbols. But, could the Toltec or Aztecs or Maya have really been in what is today Arizona at some time as conquerors or traders?
The Hopi and other Pueblo tribes speak about trading with several other tribes far, far from the South of the present USA. The Hopi long knew about the Banana and even had a clan named after it at one time. Problem is bananas don’t grow in Arizona! So how did they know? Further, a few artifacts have been found in the Southwest that appear to be from Mexico or Central America but they are passed off and ignored for some “odd” reason! Some archaeologists do believe the Pueblo people traded with the Toltec, Maya, and Aztec and perhaps even the Inca of South America but most do not. Ah yes, we must keep up the LIE that the ancient peoples of the Americas were “savages” must we? As a person with Hispanic and Azteca blood I find that LIE absolutely and completely OFFENSIVE as do all other Native Peoples of the Americas!! I strongly suggest that OUR ancient American people were anything but “savages” and that some of OUR ancient civilizations here rivaled those of ancient Europe and China! But the full extend of these cultures will never be known as when the Europeans came to the Americas one of the very first things they did was do destroy and burn anything and everything including any written records of those civilizations and their next step was to conquer the peoples and force THEIR Christianity upon them RUTHLESSLY and against the will of the Native People! If you don’t think Cortez and his Conquistadors were ruthless in their conquest then you obviously haven’t read the accounts of how they slaughtered the Aztecs men, women, and children, young, newborn, and old, which included snatching young babes from mothers arms and killing them by throwing them up against stone walls and Aztec temples. Read those accounts and read some of the absolute CRAP written by the Catholic priests who came with Cortez and thereafter and you’ll soon discover just who the REAL savages were!
I have the blood of the Spaniards in my veins too as many Hispanic people do but I also have the blood of the Aztecs and Mexican people in my veins and I am NOT proud of the European Spanish blood for the reasons stated above. The Spanish conquest of Mexico, Central America, South America and the southwestern US was barbaric and inhumane!
Recent articles appearing on the Ancient Origins and Past Horizons websites speak of some new finds at an Aztec temple in Mexico. The temple is in the Tenochtitlan ruins which was the capital of the Aztec Empire and which is now central Mexico City. The temple is called Templo Mayor meaning “the Great Temple.” This was once a huge pyramid that served as a major focus in the ceremonial center of the Aztec capital. Sacrificial offerings have been discovered there at the base of a huge statue of the ancient Aztec goddess named Tlaltecuhtli, the giant earth goddess of the Aztecs. She had both feminine and masculine traits attributed to her and now archaeologists have found the largest and most elaborate sacrificial trove thus far at this site. It is being called Offering 126 and it’s composed of almost 4000 organic remains with the majority being the remains of marine mollusks.
These mollusks come from 111 different species which is astounding in itself! They come from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and from rivers. They apparently were obtained from far away and diverse places such as Florida, the West Indies, the CAribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and from the coasts of California to Ecuador. Some of them were collected from along coastlines but some were alive when they were brought back to the Aztec capital. Some of these mollusks could have only been obtained by diving 49 feet (15 meters) into the depths! Others were likely obtained from trading as the Aztecs had an expansive trading system that stretched throughout their empire. Since some of the mollusks were obtained from California either be exploration, conquest, or trading we can conclude the Aztecs had some for of presence in the American Southwest at some point in time!!
In previous excavations bones of animals have been found in the Aztec capital which many scientists believe were sacrificed to the Aztec gods. In fact, there is a long list of such animals. They include birds, reptiles, fish, along with jaguars, wolves, and pumas. Sacrificed? And/or raised, eaten, and/or hunted?
The toad or frog was not only an important symbol for the Toltecs but also for the Aztecs who came after them. In Aztec culture the toad symbolized water and, in fact, in the Aztec capital is what is known as the Altar of the Toads.