Teotihuacan cubits and measuring units.

This essay follows on from earlier studies of the ancient irrigation canals in Bolivia and Tabasco/Veracruz which suggest a consistent unit of 19.8" (Sumerian cubit of 30 shusi) and 20.625" (Egyptian royal cubit) were used in these regions.

The "Sumerian" cubit was related to the "Egyptian" cubit in the ratio of 24/25 which in practical terms meant that a block of 100 x 100 Sumerian cubits could be divided in 1/10ths or 1/2's and remain in Sumerian cubits, or by 1/3rds for Sumerian yards of 50 shusi or by halves, quarters or eights for 'Egyptian' cubits.

For that reason, it is not unusual to find both 'Sumerian' cubits and 'Egyptian' cubits present at the same locations.

Since the Spanish Conquistadors also brought with them a yard or 'vara' of 33" which obviously had its origin in the Sumerian yard, it might be difficult to identify some irrigation channels or plots which could have been constructed post conquest as compared to those which were pre-conquest in origin.

The object of this page is to look at the stone momuments of Teotihuacan to see if they were constructed in known units such as the "Sumerian" or "Egyptian" cubits.


above, Hugh Harleston jnr found Teotihuacan to be built in measures of 1.059 metres which would be 2 x cubits of 20.85" making one hunab
(compare to 2 x Egyptian Royal cubits of 20.625" making 1 hunab)

saburo Sugiyama
A study by Saburo Sugiyama, (Barnes & Noble, May 2005), professor at Aichi Prefectural University in Japan and research professor at Arizona State University, (above) highlights the difficulties of establishing a fixed unit of measurement for Teotihuacan. The ruined state of the momuments has been a factor, also the fact that reconstruction has taken place and is still taking place etc.

Prof Sugiyama proposed a unit of 830 mm for Teotihuacan. This would be a yard of 32.68" and very interestingly compares to the "megalithic yard" of 32.64" found by Prof A. Thom for the Megalithic Sites in Britain.
He gives the measured width of a balustrade as 1.6 metres which would be 2 x 32.68" yards.
He gives the distance between sculptured heads as 3.29 metres which would be 4 x 32.38"
He gives the width of a staircase as 13.06 metres. This could be 26 Sumerian cubits of 19.8" (13.07 metres) or 25 Egyptian Royal Cubits of 20.625" (13.09 metres)
He gives the width of the square pyramid's lowest platform as 65 metres. This would be 124 Egyptian Royal Cubits.

Prof Sugiyama quotes a study by Drewitt (1969, 1987) and Drucker (1971,1974, 1977's) which found a unit of 805 mm (31.692").

The Sumerian basic units were a "shusi" of 0.66", link of 12 shusi (7.92"), foot of 20 shusi (13.2") cubit of 30 shusi (19.8"), yard of 50 shusi (33.0") and double yard of 100 shusi (66.0").

For larger distances, the pole of 16.5 feet (15 Sumerian feet) was used, along with a chain of 66 feet (60 Sumerian feet which was 100 links) and furlong of 660 feet (600 Sumerian feet).

Looking back to Drewitt and Druckers figure of 805 mm (31.692") we can readily see that in place of a yard of 50 shusi, they have been calculating in yards of 48 shusi (4 x links) since 48 x 0.66" = 31.68" = 804.7 mm and their study in itself provides evidence of the use of "Sumerian" measurement units at Teotihuacan.

I would suggest it worth reviewing the other measurements from Teotihuacan to see how they also accomodate units of Sumerian cubits or Egyptian Royal Cubits and some suggested measurements from Google Earth are given below.

teotihuacan map
map.

Teotihuacan pyramid of the moon
above, Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Moon.


above, intended measurement 396 feet which is 360 Sumerian feet, 240 Sumerian cubits or 600 links, pyramid of the Moon.


above, this part of the pyramid measures 330 feet which is 300 Sumerian feet, 200 Sumerian cubits or 500 links, pyramid of the Moon. The pyramid has been built up in different phases, each phase enclosing an earlier phase and phase 2 dates to 150 A.D. Different measurements can also be obtained by measuring different levels or platforms of the pyramids, such as below.


The overall depth of the pyramid from back to front combined with the platform in front is quoted in "Mesoamerican Archaeology" p107 as being 168 metres. That would be equivalent to 200 Sumerian yards of 33", or 100 Sumerian "double yards" of 66" making 10,000 shusi.


above, Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun.

Teotihuacan pyramid of the sun
above, Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun, click for additional photo gallery.


above, intended measurement 687.5 feet is 250 Sumerian yards of 33.0" (50shusi) or 260 yards of 48 shusi
or 400 Egyptian royal cubits of 20.625", pyramid of the Sun.


above, intended measurement 687.5 feet is 250 Sumerian yards of 33.0" (50shusi) or 260 yards of 48 shusi
or 400 Egyptian royal cubits of 20.625", pyramid of the Sun.

The base measurement of the Sun Pyramid is quoted (Mesoamerican Archaeology) as 216 metres.


That is said to be 260 Teotihuacan units representing a 260 day calendar, it is also 260 Megalithic yards


The quoted distances of 431 metres and 432 metres are also compatible with round numbers of Megalithic yards as explained above in Mesoamerican Archaeology.

Is it possible that a site such as this could be constructed in units which reflect both Megalithic yards of 32.64" and Sumerian yards of 33.0"?
It certainly is, especially if we consider the Sun Pyramid is meant to relate to the calendar, because the megalithic yard relates to a solar year of 365.24219 days as the Sumerian yard of 33.0" relates to a mathematical year of 360 days.
Were these not indeed Lords of Time!

But it seems more probable that the site would be set out in multiples of units called Sumerian feet (of 13.2"), Sumerian cubits of 19.8" and Sumerian yards of 33.0" and when we produce a map (see below) with scales in Sumerian feet, everything seems to fall into place.

In Sumerian feet, from the front of the Moon pyramid to the nearside of the Citadel (Ciudadela) is 5,000 Sumerian feet, which would also be 2,000 Sumerian yards, 1,000 double-Sumerian yards of 100 shusi, 3,200 Egyptian royal cubits or 1600 Mayan hunabs.

From the southern side of the Sun pyramid enclosure to the near side of the citadel enclosure would be 2,400 Sumerian feet, 1,600 Sumerian cubits, 960 Sumerian yards, 480 Sumerian double-yards, 1,536 Egyptian royal cubits or 768 Mayan hunabs. So if the plan were set out in round numbers it looks like there is a greater preponderance of round numbers in "Sumerian" feet than in "Mayan hunabs", but in the end, they are all part of the same measuring system.

From the rear of the Moon pyramid to the beginning of the avenue is 1,000 Sumerian feet and so on.

map of Teotihuacan with scale bar in Sumreina feet
above, map of Teotihuacan with scale bar in Sumerian feet of 13.2".


above, the satellite confirms the map distance mentioned above, 1100 English feet is 1,000 Sumerian feet of 13.2".


Avenue of the Dead with the Sun Pyramid in the background to the left.


Avenue of the Dead with the Sun Pyramid in the background.


Avenue of the Dead satellite view.


above, Bruce Rux in "Archaeology of the Underworld" found the boulevard to be 48 hunabs wide where the hunab was 1.059 metres or 2 x Egyptian Royal Cubits.


Avenue of the Dead width is 165 feet which is 100 cubits or 96 Egyptian royal cubits
(or 48 hunabs where the hunab was 2 x Egyptian Royal Cubits).

Teotihuacan pyramids 2400 Sumerian feet
The satellite measures the intended distance between the pyramid of the Sun and the pyramid of the Moon as 2,640 feet which would be 2400 Sumerian feet. In Sumerian units, it would also be 1600 cubits, 4000 links or 4800 shusi. In the units of Drewitt and Drucker which was 4 x links or 48 shusi, it would be 1,000 of these units, confirming that Drewitt and Drucker had made a correct assessment, but using different multiples of shusi.

Teotihuacan  pyramids 3600 Sumerian feet
The satellite measures the intended distance distance between the pyramid of the Sun and the pyramid in the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (also called the "Citadel") as 3,960 feet which would be 3600 Sumerian feet. In Sumerian units it would also be 2400 cubits, 6000 links or 72000 shusi. In the units of Drewitt and Drucker which was 4 x links or 48 shusi, it would be 1,500 of these units, confirming again that Drewitt and Drucker had made a correct assessment, but using different multiples of shusi.

Both the above distances can be more readily understood as 2400 and 3600 Sumerian feet respectively.

Teotihuacan measuring unit at the citadel
Click here for citadel cubits, Teotihuacan measuring unit

Chichen Itza and El Castillo cubits
Click here for Chichen Itza and El Castillo cubits

Monte Alban cubits measuring units
Click here for Monte Alban, measuring units

Tiwanaku calendar
Click here Tiwanaku calendar

Atlantis Stade
Click here Atlantis Stade

measured distances between Altiplano canals
Click here measured distances between Altiplano canals.

Jim Allen, 16 June 2009
email webatlantis@hotmail.com


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