Cydonia Quest


Testing the Arcology Model


The Arcology Model

In his book The Monuments of Mars Richard Hoagland describes how he came to the opinion that the enigmatic formations in Cydonia were more than just solid monuments like the Giza Pyramids. Hoagland proposes that the Cydonia formations are nothing less than huge, environmentally self contained buildings. Drawing on the designs of the architect Paolo Soleri for similar super buildings on Earth, Hoagland applied Soleri's name of "arcologies" to the Cydonian formations.



cccccccccccccThe picture above shows a model of a Soleri design for an Earth based arcology city.


The arcology model proposes that space faring colonists settled on Mars by burrowing deep into its surface, resulting in the excavation of massive amounts of spoil which was used to build the above ground level Cydonian formations. There is an obvious analogy with an ant hill which will often contain living space both below the ground and within the hill itself. Of course it is difficult to comprehend the kind of construction techniques which could have built something like the D&M Pyramid which is nearly two miles long and over 3,000 feet high even after erosion. In Allen Steele's 1992 novel, Labyrinth of Night, the Cydonian formations were built by the exertions of trillions of microscopic nano-bots. In effect the Cydonian formations were artificially "grown". (A really off the wall idea would be if super buildings could be created from the "living rock" with something like the Genesis Machine in the Star Trek movies........but that's enough over heated imagination for one day Bob).



The image above shows a Japanese design for a two mile high arcology to house one million people. Both this design and that of the Soleri design shown previously are unlikely to be sturdy enough for the rigours of Mars where arcologies would have to be more bunker-like.


Further information on the theory and practice of arcologies can be found by clicking the following "stargate" µµµ.

So. What are we looking for? One of the problems with confirming the arcology model is that the hypothetical arcologies would be sealed against the outside environment. (I suspect that Mars has always had a pretty hostile environment. Even when Martian air pressure was great enough to allow the theoretical northern ocean, the atmosphere would have likely been very thin by Earth's standards). Although erosion of the thick, outer shell of the hypothetical arcologies might expose honeycombing associated with structural engineering, the resulting debris would tend to fall into and fill these small hollow spaces. Besides, even the best resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft tend to be degraded by the transmission of a weak and noisy signal over tens of millions of miles to Earth. Cydonia researchers have also complained that MSSS is instructing the MGS to transmit back the images digitally compressed by 50%. This inevitably strips out some of the finer detail.

If the formations in Cydonia are arcologies then we would expect them to contain large amounts of hollow space both deep within and below themselves. Over time these hollow spaces should have begun to cave in under the force of gravity causing evidence of subsidence and collapses on the surface. There is a good example of the kind of features we are looking for in the Cydonian formation known as the "Citadel". This has been largely ignored by both TEM and the SPSR. This may be because of its large size (it is about four miles long) and because its overall shape is more natural looking than architectural. Maybe humans just don't appreciate avant garde alien design aesthetics. Another explanation might be that the Citadel represents a natural mountain that has been hollowed out to create an arcology (see appended Viking spacecraft image below).




The Citadel lies twelve miles to the south east of the D&M Pyramid - in fact the south east ridge line of the D&M seems to point straight at the highest point on the Citadel. It is located adjacent to a three sided formation (about the size of the D&M) that looks more like our preconceived notions of what a pyramidal arcology should look like. I'm sure if the MGS were to take high resolution images of the area around the Citadel it would reveal much of interest.

The Viking image of the Citadel has many obvious features that could be the result of subsidence and collapse into artificially created hollow space. Firstly, on the sunlit side we can see evidence of a grid like pattern of horizontal and vertical ridges. This could be the result of the surface between structural support features sagging slightly. Secondly, on the shadowed side there is a Swiss cheese effect of large, dark hollows that could be the result of space inside the Citadel collapsing. The Viking images were taken when the Sun was casting long shadows, which are ideal for archaeological discovery. However, MGS images are taken when the Sun is high in the sky, which would probably reveal that the dark depressions on the shadowed side of the Citadel are quite shallow features. None-the-less, it would still be interesting to see a higher resolution image of this formation. Equally intriguing is the small pyramid mound accompanied by two fat "obelisks" at the bottom centre of the Citadel image.

Therefore, the main methodology I will use in testing the Hoagland arcology model is looking for subsidence evidence that is consistent with the existence of artificially created internal space within Cydonian formations. The articles below set out the results of my investigations.


µµµ Testing the Arcology Model in the East Formation & its surroundings (16th Sept '00)

µµµ Testing the Arcology Model in the North Formation (24th Sept '00)

µµµ Testing the Arcology Model in the West Formation (1st Oct '00)

µµµ Testing the Arcology Model in the Tholus (7th Oct '00)

µµµ Testing the Arcology Model in the Fort (15th Oct '00)

µµµ The Main Pyramid and Conclusions (29th Oct '00)

Addenda Articles

µµµ The Arcology Theory Confirmed?

µµµ The Island Fort

µµµ The Collapsed Mesa

µµµ The Island Fort at Higher Resolution

µµµ THEMIS Reveals Existence of a "SuperBowl City"

µ Return to the main Mars page