Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is an archeological site in Mexico State, Mexico, as well as the municipality which contains the site.

The municipality covers a total surface area of 82.66 km² and, in the year 2000 census, reported a population of 44,653. It is most famous as the site of the Teotihuacán pyramids.

Table of contents
1 Archaeological site
2 Related subjects
3 External links

Archaeological site

Teotihuacan was the largest city of Pre-Columbian America. It is in Mexico State, about 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Mexico City.


The Pyramid of the Moon. Teotihuacan, Mexico.

"Teotihuacan" is the Aztec name, meaning Place of the Gods. According to legend this was where the Gods gathered to plan the creation of man. The name Teotihuacan is also used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. The city was also anciently referred to as Tollan, a name also used centuries later for the Toltec capital of Tula.

Construction of Teotihuacan commenced around 300 BCE, and the city reached its zenith approx. 300-600 AD, when it was the centre of an influential culture. At its height the city covered over 13 km² (over 8 square miles), and probably housed a population of over 150,000 people, possibly as many as 200,000. Archaeological evidence shows that the city contained neighborhoods of people from other parts of Mesoamerica, such as the Mixtec, the Zapotec, and the Maya. There was trade with other regions of Mesoamerica, including the important obsidian trade.

The city's broad central avenue was flanked by impressive ceremonial architecture, including the immense Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, and many lesser temples and palaces.

Unfortunately no ancient Teotihuacano texts are known to exist, but the city is occasionally referred to in the texts of Maya monuments, showing that Teotihuacan nobility traveled to and married with the families of local rulers as far away as Honduras. Maya hieroglyphs mention mention Spearthrower Owl, apparently Emperor of Teotihuacan, who reigned for over 60 years and imposed his relatives as kings of Tikal and Uaxactun in Guatemala.

By 650 Teotihuacan was in decline as a major power. The city was sacked and burned, possibly by the invading Toltec, approx. 750 AD.

Knowledge of the ruins of this huge city was never lost. The ruined city was a place of pilgrimage in Aztec times; it astonished visiting Conquistadores; and it has been one of the most noted attractions for visitors to Mexico since the 19th century. Minor archeological excavations were conducted in the 19th century, and in 1905 major projects of excavation and restoration began under archeologist Leopoldo Batres, with the Pyramid of the Sun restored to celebrate the centennial of Mexican Independence in 1910. Teotihuacan remains a major tourist destination; it now contains a museum, and archeological excavations at the site are ongoing.

Related subjects

External links




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