The indigenous heritage of contemporary Mexico tells an incredibly complex story. Jumpstarted 9,000 years ago by the ancient people’s domestication of corn and the subsequent agricultural revolution, the story’s plotline curves through nearly 4,000 years of occupancy by advanced Mesoamerican civilizations. The Olmec, the Teotihuacan, the Maya, the Zapotec, the Mixtec, the Toltec and the Aztec societies all flourished in this land long before European conquest of 16th century. The ancients built great monumental cities and achieved breakthroughs in astronomy, architecture, mathematics, theology and medicine, leaving behind a legacy that speaks of a profound understanding of space, time, relativity and interconnectedness with totality of cosmos.
Burrowing deeper into my quest to find underlying unity in the midst of Mexico’s clearly vast and mysterious cultural landscape, I anticipated the arrival of time when history books, wikipedia research and explanations by academic friends would no longer be sufficient. I wanted to forge a personal connection with vanished cultures of the dead, and to do that – nothing could replace an actual pilgrimage through Mexico’s lost cities. Thus began the first installment of my journey back in time.
Presented in the ‘Lost Cities’ slideshow are images from archeological sites scattered throughout Yucatan Peninsula, Central Mexico and Valley of Oaxaca. Organized in chronological order, collectively they span Mesoamerican history’s 3 distinct periods:
PRECLASSIC: BC 2000-250 AD
CLASSIC: 250-900 AD
POSTCLASSIC: 900-1519 AD
The journey I began is far from being finished, but the further I advance in this work, the more distinctively I hear ancestral whispers of those who used to populate this land. And since most of ancient city remains still lay buried in the jungle, I also grow increasingly humbled by the depth of human mystery… What I’m beginning to witness is that Mexico’s lost cities haven’t vanished and its ancient cultures aren’t really dead, because the consciousness and wisdom contained in the very thoughts of pre-Hispanic minds, to this day continue to project their influence on the collective psychology of Mexican people (indigenous and European descendants alike.) I hope my images are able to express the powerful potency of silence.
Enormous thanks to Mexico Kan Tours for organizing my travels and for sharing such a wealth of archeological knowledge and cultural experience!