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Money, money changes everything

Firstly, today's Spanish lesson: the verb 'cargar' is to load, or seemingly to carry. If you speak the Strayan brand of English, and thus swallow any 'r' sound, you say what sounds like 'cagar', to ca-ca.

I have gone a little pyramid obsessed, which is at least better than when I became Roman Holiday obsessed, nay crazy, in Rome. My large bush property of the future, located in a municipality (or more likely, country other than Australia) without petty-minded planning regulations, will now have within sight of the Doric temple, Dark Ages watch-tower, and occasionally, the moving Mongolian ger, a pyramid. Or two. Or a small town there-of, depending on which civilisation's architectural elements I, on whim, reproduce.

And this is becoming a difficulty to track. Over its 4,000 year period of isolation from the rest of the world, Mesoamerica gave rise to a multitude of related but distinct civilisations, all within a very close area, such that most every archaeological site you visit is a new people. It's like trying to keep track of the states and empires of Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Great War.

On the southern border of UNAM, my esteemed place of employment, is a pyramid that is special because it is round. This is Cuicuilco, probably the oldest city in the valley of Mexico, founded around 800 BCE. It was still around to be a contemporary of Teotihuacan, its peak being around 200 BCE. Then, early in the CE (dates are woefully varied) a local volcano buried the joint in lava, and the people fled north to join Teotihuacan.

As Naomi and myself found (but fellow explorer Gaby already knew) the pyramid has been excavated from under the lava, and the site is not too shabby to have half hour walking from one's office. It's not as flash as some others, though the grounds do make for a lovely perambulation, rather. I mentioned earlier that if you have a pyramid in your backyard, the state seizes your land for heritage reasons. The exception, it seems, is if you are a property tycoon. Then, you can make the bureaucrats got away, and then the pyramid itself, by throwing enough cash at the former. Hence, there is a flashy new mall next to the archaeological site which once had more pyramids. 'Crooked sods' is an understatement. I wonder if the same might work in reverse with the afore-mentioned planning regs in Straya: making pyramids appear instead of disappear. I'm sure it would.

This lunar cycle

April 2015
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