I end up leaving Zacatecas a little later than I planned. First I was waiting to connect with Sonia, a feminist and lesbian who lives in this city; and then two newspaper reporters were waiting at my truck to interview me and take pictures.
I am able to speak to the reporters more clearly this time about the dangers of Monsanto and like corporations. And growing organic. Both guys speak english so I don’t have to struggle to say in Spanish what I need to say. I hope they will not have to struggle too hard to interpret for their articles.
So I don’t arrive at the Wixáritari ruins until after 1pm. This place is so intense, so beautiful, so ancient – close to 2000 years old, at the very least – or at least the last layer unearthed is from around 500ad.
It is unfathomable that people 2000 years ago could build stone homes, walls, streets without the benefit of modern technology – and walls that are put together so precisely they will and have certainly outlasted anything modern man has constructed except waste.
For the mystery of all the stone fences, the stone walls, the stone roads of Zacatecas and the surrounding areas is unveiled here.
These early people somehow broke rocks into flat pieces and built the walls of their homes, the posts of roof column supports, their roads, their paths, their steps – everything out of these amazing rocks that many of which have withstood wind and elements as well as human pillaging for so many centuries now.
And talk about high up – these early people built on the sides and tops of the tallest mountains around, stretching for a long ways, miles I’m sure. It is hard to tell distance when you are that high up.
My calves are already sore from my hike up to the top of Cerro de Bufa in Zacatecas – this hike is equally intense, mainly because a lot of it is climbing huge steps that line up the side of mountains. And really good for my muscles!
There is a museum when you first enter this sacred area and a movie on a large screen again. I enter when it is already playing to a handful of other Spanish speaking tourists.
After they leave & I’ve seen & struggled to understand the whole movie once, I ask the museum guy if it is in english. He gets out another cd and plays the movie for me again, this time w/english subtitles. I’m happy to know for sure what the movie is really saying.
I learn many interesting things, including Zacatecas was in a pine forest with a river flowing through it – but the Spaniards found the trees and river unuseful for their mining purposes so down went the forest, and the river dried up.
This Wixáritari area has been less than 1% excavated and that didn’t happen until the 60’s and 70’s - and thru the eyes of white people. The ruins have been exploited and pillaged but not as much as it could have been as it was declared ‘protected’ in the 1500’s.
One of the early Spaniard conquerors recognized the value in preserving this unoccupied site – not that he was interested in preserving the lives of the earliest people he was subjugating in the occupied ancient cites – plus he hired a german architect to map the existing ruins and roads, which apparently he did pretty accurately.
This ruin seems to be some huge pueblo at the crossroads of many peoples, some of whom roamed what we now call the north-western u.s. and all of México and who knows how far south?
One reason this site was so preserved is that there was a giant fire between the 600’s and 800’s which caused the collapse of all the roofs and the entire city. The fire debris of the roof has been carbon dated, as has the floor that was preserved under the roof debris.
Of course everything modern people found here is seen thru the western eyes of war and peace. So where there are many human bones buried, near what is thought to be a temple site, archeologists guess it is a human sacrificial or war place – not their holy burial grounds.
There is also a pyramid in the pueblo that still stands today – that was uncovered several decades ago. I feel so fortunate to be able to walk thru these mountain tops, climb these ancient stairs, feel the energy of the children learning to be mountain goats, springing up and down stairs and sides of mountains, the womyn sharing sleeping and cooking areas, the amazing vistas of the tranquil terrain stretching across miles and miles and miles of stone, earth, plants, trees, rivers, stone roads and walkways.
I drive out close to 5pm, thinking I might stay in Villanueva, if the river is really still there, or try to find the hot springs if there’s enough daylight left.