Dr. Cecilio Orozco Interview
August 9, 1999

Q: Dr. Orozco, you’ve done research in Utah related to pre-Columbian archeological sites. What triggered your interest to go there?

A: What triggered my interest to go to Utah looking for archeological sites. Well, first of all, the knowledge that the Spanish people that came to America, my ancestors, the ones that gave me my name, Orozco, were not only great warriors, but also they brought no women with them. So my ancestors are the Native Americans. And I wanted to find as much as I could about the greatness of that group. I went to Utah seeking mathematical formulas that would attest to their greatness.

Q: In 1980, you saw something in a publication that led you to the state of Utah. What publication was that and where did you go, as a result?

A: The publication that gave me the first positive lead was a National Geographic, January, 1980. They published a pictograph, which they claimed could have been as old as six thousand years. [The pictograph] had a mathematical formula [in it]. It was unbelievable. So the mathematical formula is what led me to Utah, mainly. There are some other things. We also know that the people of that area long ago had called themselves Nahuatl, and that means "four waters." Nahui is four, and -atl is waters.
Nauhuatl--land of the four waters--was in the colorful lands by name "hui huit lapala"--hui hui means very old, and lapala means colorful--so the four great waters and hui hui lapala had to be in the area of Utah, western Colorado, northern New Mexico, northern Arizona--it’s the most colorful land there is.

Q: You use a technique called “archeo-astronomy.” Can you explain what archeo-astronomy is and how that helped you?

A: Basically, if you have knowledge of astronomy--and I’m not an archeo-astronomer--but if you have knowledge of astronomy, and you find a mathematical formula--and it couldn’t come from anything else--it’s referred to as “archeo-astronomy.” In other words, seeking ancient knowledge of the stars. And the people in Utah knew the rhythm of Venus, and probably all of the stars, but Venus was the one that I was able to clarify.

Q: You eventually found a canyon. Can you tell us about that?

A: After we found mathematical formulas, we also set about to find why they did observations. Where they did them. People worry a lot whether the ancient Americans had a calendar like ours. They were hunters and gatherers. What they needed to know was what season it was, so they would go looking for crab apples during crab apple time and not some other time. So we were looking for what evidence there was as to where they observed from. What we found was that solstice--that is, the longest day of the year, June 21st--the pictographs we were looking at were exactly perpendicular to the sunrise on that date. Which made it ideal for telling the natives when the longest day of the year was.

Q: Are the glyphs that you found in Utah in any way related to what people call the Aztec calendar?

A: Very definitely. The knowledge of the heavens, that the Mexica and the Aztecs later used in Mexico in their calendars and in the sun stone, came from Utah. The oldest evidence of the Venusian cycle is in Utah, with pictographs that [are dated at] 2000 B.C. Armed with that knowledge, they went towards Mexico. Many of them got there sooner than the Aztecs, but this is where it originated.

Q: What is a sunstone, and how is it different from the Aztec calendar?

A: A sunstone and the Aztec calendar are entirely different things. [The sunstone] is not a calendar, to tell what day it is, nor is it Aztec. Because the Aztecs didn’t make it. It is known as the sunstone only because the central figure is the sun--tonatiuh. My professor, Alfonso Rivas Salmón, in Mexico, and I opted for calling it “the book of the sun.” It’s a book of knowledge, of the Mexica people.

Q: What does your work say about Aztlán?

A: Aztlán is a very real place between the states of Sinoloa and Nayarit in Mexico. However, for us, living in this country, we refer to Aztlán mainly as the road that ancient people took from the great plains of America to the desert areas of Utah, to the Sierra Madre range on the west coast of Mexico, to Aztlán, and finally to Mexico. El Camino De Aztlán, we call it. "The road to Aztlán." Because it goes right through Aztlán. Aztlán, itself, is a word that means "the land of egrets." And this place on that road of Aztlán in between Sinoloa and Nayarit is on the road that we are mentioning.

Q: We’ve heard other explanations of Aztlán as possibly meaning "place of birds" or "of wings" and the codices mention "the lake." Do you think that Aztlán necessarily implies a lake?

A: Alfonso Rivas Salmón very definitely found that the nesting place of the egrets is between Sinoloa and Nayarit, and that those egrets are called Aztatu in the Nahuatl language, and
"-zlan" is how you say "the place of." Like "Mazatl" is a deer, "Mazatlan" the land of the deer. Avocados are called "aguacates," "Aguacatlan" the land of avocados, etc. we came to the conclusion that there couldn’t have been any place in the lake, because the egrets can’t swim. They would sink in the lake. So they’re from marshes. And this land, near the dividing line between Sinoloa and Nayarit is definitely a swamp land where they nest.

Q: Based on your work on El Camino de Aztlán, can you definitively state that the ancestors of Mexicanos once lived in what is today the United States Southwest?

A: There’s no question that ancestors of the Mestizo culture that were in Mexico when the Spanish arrived had come from the Utah area. Unless the authorities in Utah have misdated the pictographs that those mathematical formulas that are in. Because they are so much older than the Mexica culture. The other thing is we know that in the world, the great calendars have been made in desert areas, where you can observe the heavens. Utah is an ideal place for that. The knowledge originates in Utah, and then traveled down to Aztlán, into Mexico City.