Around 700.000 people visit every year the Monument to the Center of the World in Quito. The number that visits Catequilla, the true Middle of the World, is unknown.
The monument to the middle of the world is located in San Antonio de Pichincha, about an hour north of the center of the city. It measures over 30 meters high and it’s topped with an earth globe that weights 4 tons. It was built to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the arrival of the French geodesic mission.
This place attracts local and international visitors who come to take their picture with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern one. Some 200 visitors go just to see Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the world city) and most of them buy handicrafts and other souvenirs.
The place is bound to be the location for the Torre del Sol (The Sun Tower). It will rise 1600 meters and will cost around 200 million USD.
A little away there’s this little known ancestral place called Catequilla. From there you can see a full 360 degrees view of every mountain on the horizon. It is the only prehispanic place built over the equinoctial line and it was built as an observatory and a place of worship. Today it is considered part of the national patrimony.
It is located at precisely 0 degrees, 0 minutes, 0 seconds. Just on top of the 0 parallel, which is not the case with the monument down below.
Today modern GPS devices can fix the true middle of the world atop the Catequilla mount, 240 meters to the south of the tourist attraction.
The French mission miss-measured by 200 meters the center of our planet, ancient indigenous people did it precisely using the sun. and they did it recognizing the equinoxes and solstices and knowing why twice a year there is absolutely no shadow at noon in Catequilla.
The Indigenous people did not have optical instruments, which is the fundamental reason that the natural horizon of the mountainous relieves of the Andes have been used as the ideal tool for observations. It should be taken into account that the ancient inhabitant did not have optical instruments and therefore his principal tools were his vision and the horizon.
The archeological site presents a semicircular wall which is made of rocks and material from the site. It has an approximate diameter of 70 meters with a height of 1.80 meters. The incredible thing about this archeological structure is that the Equinoctial latitude passes exactly through the archeological site.
Parallel to this, it has been verified the relationship that exists between Catequilla and the different archeological sites of the Equinoctial region with the aid of a theodolite and a GPS. The result that was reached was that the most predominant sites, such as is the case with the pyramids of Cochasqui and the archeological site of Pambamarca, converge in the archeological center of Catequilla, following the rising and setting of the Sun during the solstices of June and December.
This evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that this archeological site was specifically constructed for astronomical observations. In addition, it might also have served as a pivot point for a large wheel in the territorial ordering of the ancient inhabitants of the zone.
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