Tulum Ruins: America's Solomon's Temple
The Ruins of Tulum
The ruins of a complex with striking similarities to that of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem are found on the American continents in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is known as Tulum.
The Molten Sea at Tulum, the American Solomon's Temple
Solomon’s temple was built in the 10th century BC in Jerusalem by Solomon, the 3rd king of the time period in Jewish History that is known as the "Golden Era."
It was destroyed about 500 years later, by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, in 586 BCE. Details about its structure, construction and dedication can be found in 1 Kings 5-8 and 2 Chronicles 2-6.
Historical records tell us that the temple complex was surrounded by both an outer and an inner wall. In front of the temple was a square altar for burnt offerings and a round “molten sea” for washings, or a baptismal font (see 2 Chronicles 4:6).
The temple itself was divided into two rooms by a veil.The first room was known as the holy place and contained the altar of incense, a table of shewbred and a holy candlestick (or Menorah). The second room was known as the holy of holies and held the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest could enter this room and he only did so once a year, on the Day of Atonement.
Tulum is Protected by a Wall and the Ocean
The American Version of Solomon's Temple
Tulum was built between 1200 and 1400 AD. It is surrounded by both an outer and an inner wall on 3 sides. The fourth side is protected by a barrier reef.
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Outer Wall, Eastern Entrance and the Main Temple at Tulum
Tulum's Watch Towers
The outer wall has 5 entrances, 2 on the North side, 2 on the South side and 1 on the East side. The wall was between 3 and 5 meters (10-16 feet) tall.
On each of the landlocked corners were watch towers which were used to keep an eye out for attacking armies or other dangers.
Surrounding the temple itself was an inner wall. The priests lived in homes between the two walls. During times of war, this walled area served as a fortress and protected living space for the entire civilization, not just the priests.
The Priests' Homes
The priests’ homes were similar in design to the temple itself.They had two rooms, just like the temple. Each home had an altar in the back room, which corresponded to the holiest room in the temple.
The homes also had a small altar in front of them, so the people could see the priest praying publically. In the middle of the homes are family graves. One of the best preserved homes was found to hold the graves of 8 priests buried one on top of the other.
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The main temple, known as El Castillo (which translates to The Castle in English), was surrounded by an inner wall and stands approximately 25 feet tall. It had two rooms, just like Solomon’s temple.
The current structure was built on top of a previous structure. It is decorated with feathered serpent motifs, which represent Kukulkhan, the Mayan’s creator God.
The main temple also served as a lighthouse directing ships through an opening in the reef to safe landing on the beach. Many foreign ships shipwrecked here, not knowing how to use the lighthouse to guide their travels.
The Main Temple and the Temple of the Descending God at Tulum
The Colors at Tulum
Other Noteworthy Buildings
There are two other noteworthy buildings at Tulum. Unlike the structures discussed thus far, these buildings do not relate well to Solomon’s temple complex. The first is the temple of the descending God who was believed to have appeared to the Mayan people and to be in charge of fertility of both man and the earth. He is depicted upside down on the front of the building to represent his descent from heaven. The second building is the temple of the frescoes. It was used as an observatory to track the sun and other astronomical bodies.
Although these buildings appear to be simply grey stone today, the intricate carvings on the buildings were originally painted with bright blue and red plaster. It is believed that blue represented heaven and red represented power. Unfortunately, little of the original color remains today.
How Jewish Religious Architecture Came to America
It is quite possible that the “descending God” of the Mayan people had its roots in the Jehovah of the Old Testament. The Book of Mormon records a visit of Jesus Christ to the America in 34 AD, after His resurrection. Over the centuries, the memories were twisted and a complete understanding of the events were lost. This allowed for the creation of the Mayan God, Itzama. It is also possible that the Mayan people are descendants of people who came to America from Jerusalem just before the diaspora began. These lineal, cultural, historical and religious ties would explain the similarities in architecture between Solomon’s temple and the complex at Tulum.
© 2015 kbdressman