Ancient Pueblo Sun Temple Had Geometric Patterns, Confirms New Study


Constructing a building involves using many geometrical shapes and patterns. In the absence of a proper mathematical calculation it is near impossible for anyone to build an architectural complex.

However, the latest discovery may question the above statement. While studying the mysterious Sun Temple in Colorado, a scientist came across some structures that contain triangles, squares, and even the "Golden rectangle."

The Golden rectangle, which also happens to be quite popular with architects in ancient Greece and Egypt, is often utilized in Western art because of its impressive proportions.

The Research Site

The Sun Temple archaeological site of the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado was built around 1200 AD by the Southwestern Pueblo people.

Research professor Sherry Towers of the Arizona State University's Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center discovered the geometrical constructs. Towers had spent many years studying the various facets linked to the archaeological site.

Towers noted that this particular site used to be an important place of ceremony for the ancestral Pueblo people. It was also used to conduct observations of the solstices. Towers said that her initial interest in studying the Sun Temple involved determining whether the Pueblo people used this site to observe the stars as well.

The Research Work And Findings

In her investigation, Towers noticed some patterns in the layout and subsequently in the architecture of the site. After further research, she observed that the geometric patterns used in the construction were known to anyone who has been to high school.

Towers equilateral triangles, 45-degree right triangles, squares, Pythagorean triangles, and Golden rectangles, which as mentioned earlier were popular among the ancient Greek and Egyptian architects.

The mystery though lies in the fact that Egyptians and Greeks knew the usage of written language and numerics while the Pueblo people had no such advantage. Despite those minuses, the ancestral Pueblo people were still able to accomplish architectural endeavors bearing measurement errors less than 1 percent.

This is something that surprised Towers, who praised the architects and recognized their skill and capability.

"If you asked someone today to try to reconstruct this site and achieve the same precision that they had using just a stick and a piece of cord, it's highly unlikely they'd be able to do it, especially if they couldn't write anything down as they were working," says Towers.

Towers observed that the site basically relies on a common measurement unit that is equal to just over 30 centimeters, or close to 12 inches (1 foot) in length.

A similar pattern is observed in another Pueblo site - Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico.

However, Towers added that more studies were required to establish if the Pueblo Bonito site makes use of the same unit of measurement as in the Sun Temple.

The research is featured in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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