Mayans Used Rock Spewed From Volcano to Build Campana Pyramid

Construction of the pyramid, which stood 43 feet tall and roughly 130 feet wide, began within 5 to 30 years of the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption. Akira Ichikawa / Antiquity Publications Ltd.

The Maya Built This Monumental Pyramid Out of Volcanic Rock

by Isis Davis-Marks/

Around the fifth or sixth century C.E., the Tierra Blanca Joven (TBJ) volcanic eruption caused mass devastation in El Salvador. Scholars are divided on how the region’s Maya inhabitants responded to the natural disaster, but a new study suggests they proved surprisingly resilient, using rock spewed by the volcano to construct a monumental pyramid within decades of the eruption.

As George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo, Akira Ichikawa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, drew on excavations and radiocarbon dating to assess the so-called Campana structure, which once towered over San Andrés in El Salvador’s Zapotitán Valley. His findings, published in the journal Antiquity, indicate that the Maya began building the pyramid out of tephra, or white volcanic ash, and earth fill within 5 to 30 years of the eruption. At most, construction began 80 years after the eruption.

“Events like eruptions and drought have often been considered a main factor in ancient collapse, abandonment or decline,” Ichikawa tells National Geographics Erin Blakemore. “My research suggests ancient people were more resilient, flexible and innovative.”

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    “Without entering upon the curious considerations that, from what are really most interesting mathematical puzzles, produced these famous names, the Solomons of Babylonia actually possessed Temples dedicated to Divine Wisdom, which were schools of instruction in the arts and sciences, having as the final assembly hall of the priestly initiates a Middle Chamber reached by seven successive steps or stages.
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  2. Quotes from the book The Beginning of Masonry by Frank C Higgins

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    .. common to Mound Builder, Aztec, and Inca as to Chaldean, Hebrew, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Phenician, Mongol, Druid, and Hindu, are irrefutable. The symbols of “Three Times Three” among all these peoples are so much alike ..
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