The Great Pyramid of Cholula, the Deluge, and the Tower of Babel

In his book, Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock quotes a story told to Franciscan friar Diego de Duran in 1585 by a “venerated elder… said to have been more than one hundred years old” concerning the building of the very ancient Great Pyramid of Cholula, in central Mexico:

The Great Pyramid at Cholula, Mexico, thought to be a temple to Quetzalcoatl and the site of a story similar to the Bible’s Tower of Babel tale.

In the beginning, before the light of the sun had been created, this place, Cholula, was in obscurity and darkness; all was a plain, without hill or elevation, encircled in every part by water, without tree or created thing. Immediately after the light and the sun arose in the east there appeared gigantic men of deformed stature who possessed the land. Enamoured of the light and beauty of the sun they determined to build a tower so high that its summit should reach the sky. Having collected materials for the purpose they found a very adhesive clay and bitumen with which they speedily commenced to build the tower…. And having reared it to the greatest possible altitude, so that it reached the sky, the Lord of the Heavens, enraged, said to the inhabitants of the sky, “Have you observed how they of the earth have built a high and haughty tower to mount hither, being enamoured of the light of the sun and his beauty? Come and confound them, because it is not right that they of the earth, living in the flesh, should mingle with us.” Immediately the inhabitants of the sky sallied forth like flashes of lightning; they destroyed the edifice and divided and scattered its builders to all parts of the earth.

From Bullfinch’s mythology:

To the same group of events as the passing of Tollan and the deluge belong the stories of the building of the great pyramid of Cholula and the portents which accompanied it. It is said that, reared by a chief named Xelua, who escaped the deluge, it was built so high that it appeared to reach heaven; and that they who reared it were content, “since it seemed to them that they had a place whence to escape from the deluge if it should happen again, and whence they might ascend into heaven”; but “a chalcuitl, which is a precious stone, fell thence [i. e. from the skies] and struck it to the ground; others say that the chalcuitl was in the shape of a toad; and that whilst destroying the tower it reprimanded them, inquiring of them their reason for wishing to ascend into heaven, since it was sufficient for them to see what was on the earth.” It is worth while to remember that the hybristic scaling of heaven is no uncommon motive in American Indian myth, while the moral of the tale is honestly pagan “mortal things are the behoof of mortals,” saith Pindar….

From Timeless Earth by Peter-Kolosimo:

There is a curious parallel b/t our own scriptures and the Toltec legend which relates how the ‘first age’ was brought to an end by fearful destruction due to ‘floods and lightning’, while in the ‘second age’ our earth was people by giants called Quinametzin; most of these disappeared when the world was devastated by earthquakes, and those that survived were destroyed by men during the ‘third age’, just as Goliath was slain by David. But Aztec mythology is still more reminiscent of the Biblical story. As Ralph Bellamy tells us: ‘Xelua and his brother giants escaped from the world cataclysm by taking refuge on the summit of a mountain which they dedicated to the water-god Tlaloc. To commemorate the event and show their gratitude to the divinity, and also to provide themselves with a stronghold in the event of another flood, they built a zacauli — a huge tower designed to reach the sky. But the gods, offended by their presumption, sent a fiery rain upon the earth, and many of the builders perished.’ Then, as an American legend relates, mankind, which had previously spoken one language, was divided and began to speak many different tongues. We thus have here a Mexican version of the story of the Tower of Babel, based evidently on the Cholula pyramid….

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