is a enchanting place of enormous pyramids, ruins, underground tunnels,
murals, and ancient history. Visiting this ancient city will transport
you into one of the most famous and intriging cultures of Mexico.
The Pyramid of the
Moon "Teotihuacan" translated as "city where men become gods."
According to legend it was where the Gods gathered to plan the creation
Construction of Teotihuacan commenced around 300 BC, with the Pyramid
of the Sun built by 150 BC. The city reached its zenith approx. 150–450
AD, when it was the center of an influential culture. At its height the
city covered over 30 km² (over 11½ square miles), and probably housed a
population of over 150,000 people, possibly as many as 200,000.
Teotihuacán was an important source of obsidian and there was extensive
trade with other regions of Mesoamerica.
The city's broad
central avenue, called "Avenue of the Dead" (a translation from its
Nahuatl name Miccaohtli), is still flanked by impressive ceremonial
architecture, including the immense Pyramid of the Sun (second largest
in the New World after the Great Pyramid of Cholula), the Pyramid of
the Moon, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl or Temple of the Feathered
Serpent, and many lesser temples and palaces.
Site map on location at Teotihuacan The Aztec named those pyramids
according to their own beliefs, but the "Sun pyramid" was really
dedicated to Tlaloc, and was built over a cave, probably considered
sacred. Unfortunately the cave content was stolen, possibly in
prehispanic times. The Moon pyramid was dedicated to Tlaloc´s consort
Chalchihuitlicue and was used also as a burial site for important
ancient Teotihuacano non-ideographic texts are known to exist (or known
to have existed), but the city is occasionally referred to in the texts
of Maya monuments, showing that Teotihuacán nobility travelled to and
married with the families of local rulers as far away as Honduras. Maya
hieroglyphs mention an individual nicknamed by scholars as
"Spearthrower Owl", apparently Emperor of Teotihuacan, who reigned for
over 60 years and imposed his relatives as kings of Tikal and Uaxactun
in Guatemala. Most of what we infer about the culture at Teotihuacan
comes from the murals that adorn the site and others, like the Wagner
Murals, found in private collections.
It was previously
believed that sometime during the 7th or 8th centuries, the city was
sacked and burned by invaders, possibly the Toltecs. More recent
evidence, however, seems to indicate that the burning was limited to
the structures and dwellings associated primarily with the elite class.
The slums and poorer districts were almost untouched. Many now claim
this is evidence that the burning was from an internal uprising and
that the invasion theory is flawed due to the fact that early
archaeological work on the city was focused exclusively on the palaces
and temples, places used by the elites, and because all of these sites
showed burning. Archaeologists concluded that the whole city was
burned. Instead, it is now known that the destruction in the city was
focused on the power symbols: Some statues seem to have been destroyed
in a methodical way, their fragments dispersed. The fact that
population began to decline around 500-600 A.D. also supports the
internal unrest hypothesis.
rebuttal, advocates of the invasion hypothese point to the mural
paintings of Cacaxtla, a rival city, in which was found a battle
painting featuring the glyph of Teotihuacan over a burning pyramid, the
Mesoamerican symbol of a conquered city, which could mean that there
really was an attack on Teotihuacan, led by Cacaxtla. However, it was
not unknown for ancient rulers to falsely claim victory over foes.