The Pleiades connection
Over the past few years, several researchers have claimed the existence of an elaborate star map depicting the Pleiades constellation embedded in the site layout of Tik’al. Most notably, fringe researcher Wayne Herschel (The hidden Records, 2003) has claimed the clustering of pyramids in the North Acropolis and along the Grand Plaza closely resembles the position of the stars of the Pleiades constellation in the sky. In addition Temple IV and the relatively ignored Temple 43 would point at equally significant stars.
This is an intriguing theory. However I am not overall convinced by Wayne Herschel’s explanation. In fact, he ignores completely some of the largest and most ancient structures on the site, most notably the “Lost world” complex and Temple V (Temple III was only built at a later date), which apparently do not fit into the overall scheme. This is a serious drawback as especially the “Lost world” complex is arguably the oldest and most enigmatic structure at Tik’al, being entirely different from any other on the site.
Still, the idea of a stellar correlation at Tik’al would be well worth further investigation. The only apparent match for the Pleiades constellation would be the North acropolis, which was built on earlier structures and dates therefore to the earliest occupation stage of the site. However, evidence for such a precise correlation is quite weak.
One aspect of Herschel’s theory that deserves special attention is its focus on the ancient “causeways” – or sacheobs – connecting in an almost triangle shape the North Acropolis to Temple IV and Temple 43. The exact purpose of these “causeways”, which are as large as 50 meters at some points, is an enigma to archaeologists, except they are usually considered as “ceremonial” pathways. If a star map is involved in the overall layout of Tik’al, these need necessarily be involved, though in which way it is not clear.
Hopefully Yax Mutul – “The place of voices” – as Tik’al was anciently called, would not remain silent and will slowly reveal its secrets as more of the site is cleared from the jungle…