Equator means ‘the middle of the world’. A French geodetic mission that defined the point of the center of the world, in effect, in the 18th century. It proved Isaac Newton’s theory that the planet was flattened at the poles and wide around the Earth’s equator. But they were not the first to do so. The pre-Incas discovered the equator much earlier.
The Incas went north in search of the straight Sun. And “Quito is the place of the straight Sun and straight time,” says Andean calendar expert Gustavo Guayasamin. The solar calendars of Mexico, Guatemala, northern Argentina and Chile cast asymmetrical shadows. “Quito is the place where the time of a year can be counted. And that enters in two arms (shadows) exactly the same”.
Clues in the language
For 6 months the shadows are cast on the right side. And in the other 6 months, to the left, he explains. “And it has exactly the same size. That’s why the time in Quito closes in a single circle. That circle with a cross in the center is the square cross, the Cross of Quito.”
“In Catequilla there is also a semicircular construction that is not Inca. It is pre-Inca,” Cotacachi points out. “It is a very important place because you can see the entire Milky Way. At latitude 0° we can observe absolutely all the stars in the firmament,” says archaeoastronomer Cristóbal Cobo.
Tsafiki is a pre-colonial language spoken to this day by a small minority. It offers us a clue. “In Tsafiki, ‘Quit-sa’ means half and ‘To’, world: half of the world. It is possibly the source of the name Quito”.
“The idea of a square, flat earth comes from medieval Europe. The American cultures were much more advanced. They were wise people in the use of the natural resources of water, soils, biodiversity.
“We have to look at history with pragmatism. Each archaeological site is a source of information on the intelligent use of natural resources. We can rescue ecological niches, streams, for an intelligent use of water, of soil for crops. This is the direction that science is taking in the present and towards the future.
The pre-Incas discovered the equatorial line, but not only that. They left a legacy that can be picked up today. As long as we know how to take it into account.