Omitlan: Resurrecting the City of the Dead
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Discovering a city of the dead, and uncovering a forgotten civilization…
In 1891, the American geologist and antiquarian William Niven set off on a journey of discovery and exploration through the Mexican state of Guerrero. What he found would change the course of his life forever. He did not just find the ruins of a lost city, but a whole lost civilization that may turn out to be the oldest in Mesoamerica; a civilization that thrived in the unexplored highlands of Guerrero long before the time of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Olmecs.
Over the course of three expeditions, Niven explored one huge city of the dead, whose ruins extended for several miles in all directions. "Broken walls, ruined buildings, huge in size beyond comprehension...marked the slopes as far as the eye could see", he would later write in one of his diaries. He called this city Omitlán. From the ruins he recovered idols, small statues and other curious objects that quickly made their way to the antiquarian markets of Mexico City and New York and are among the finest ever found in Mesoamerica.
Today, Niven's discoveries lay all but forgotten, but Marco Vigato takes us on a virtual tour to revive this ancient lost city of the dead. Our own discoveries in the area suggest that a civilization perhaps related to that of the Olmecs flourished in the area as early as the first or second millennium BC, leaving behind vast megalithic structures of a scale and sophistication never before seen in ancient Mexico. The center of this civilization, called Tamoanchan by the Aztecs, may lie close to the mysterious ruins of Omitlán first documented by Niven in 1891 and then again forgotten for over a century.
Marco M Vigato, a native of Italy, lives in Mexico City and has travelled extensively across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia, North and South America. He is also a passionate photographer, dedicated to documenting the evidence of ancient advanced civilizations and sacred sites around the world. Much of his recent research has focused on the megalithic remains of ancient Mexico and Mesoamerica, leading him to the discovery of several little-known sites in the central Mexican highlands showing evidence of advanced engineering and architecture. He is currently working on a more comprehensive study of the origins and development of megalithic civilizations around the world, which will focus on cultural and historical aspects, as well as on the relationship of ancient megalithic sites with sacred geometry, astronomy, and geodesy. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. and M.Sc. in Finance from Bocconi University.