Clark Ransom’s Three pyramids
Stanford Archaeologist Clark Ransom’s journey through his trilogy takes him to three pyramids in search of clues to solve the central mystery. I took the photos below. Even though the pictures don’t capture the surrounding aura, they sparked the inspiration for the trilogy:
Cañada de la Virgen
Elvita drove as far as the construction site for the tourist welcoming center for Cañada de la Virgen. Concrete barriers blocked the highway beyond that point. However, from there, as Elvita pointed out, a pristine landscape of gouged canyons and ancient volcanoes rose around them. From the pyramids to the ancient peaks, Clark saw no human development. None except for the stepped pyramid, gleaming white, atop the highest elevation, some two kilometers away. Clark could also see the stone-paved path winding along the side of the canyon—Cañada de la Virgen—running along the highway beneath them. That pilgrim’s path switch-backed up the canyon wall, broadened, and ascended toward the main entrance of the pyramid.
Clark could imagine the stream of pilgrims a thousand-years-ago carrying their tribute to the priests above. Could Clark bear waiting two weeks before the committee granted the entrance permit?
Fidel found himself one thousand years ago in the royal palace of Tula. He walked along a portico lined with gilded columns and red silken draperies that blew in a breeze that seemed to be channeled toward the chamber ahead.
Clark got the rhythm of the march and found his pace. The music, rhythmic, haunting was hypnotic, and Clark had no sense of how long he had been walking.
He noticed a movement from flat to an incline, then that incline becoming steeper. The march halted. Clark stood on his toes to look ahead. There was another pyramid. Then, slowly, one-by-one, the leaders climbed the last steps to the wide, flat platform at the top of the pyramid.
Each warrior straightened into formation, then froze into stone.
In the outskirts of Puebla, Mexico, in the shadow of the twin volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, the great pyramid of Cholula prevailed.
Unlike its smaller counterparts in Giza, you would never find Cholula’s shape in a text on solid geometry. A natural hill, on top of which was a church dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies, hid Cholula’s form.
Tonight, he wanted to survey the pyramid grounds. Even though there were guards—enveloped in his dark cloak and hugging the shadows—Fidel passed invisibly by the guards.
Unless told, one wouldn’t know that hidden within the tree- and grass-lined hill was the Great Pyramid of Cholula. Yet, with eyes closed, Fidel could clearly see the structure beneath the mound, with its tunnels and stairways. He stuck to the shadows as he circled the base of the hill. Finally, he found it: the main entrance and the hallway leading to the royal chamber.
He stopped, stretched his mind to record the position of the moon and zodiac, before he vanished with the next breath and reanimated, seated on the magnificent throne within the chamber.
He envisioned the heavenly bodies revolving on the ceiling of the great room. Now he was ready.