Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan


All rights reserved. The Pyramid of the Sun top is the largest structure in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, and one of the largest buildings of its kind on the Western Hemisphere. It was massive, one of the first great cities of the Western Hemisphere. And its origins are a mystery. It was built by hand more than a thousand years before the swooping arrival of the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec in central Mexico. But it was the Aztec, descending on the abandoned site, no doubt falling awestruck by what they saw, who gave its current name: Teotihuacan.

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Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy pp Cite as. Teotihuacan-made pottery and jewelry along with talud-tablero architectural style and the cult of the Feathered Serpent and Rain gods was spread throughout Mesoamerica. From the first century CE, the city was carefully planned. Its street grid and main ceremonial architecture were precisely aligned to revoke the concepts of the Teotihuacan worldview.

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AMS 14C Dating of Materials Recovered from the Tunnel under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico – Volume

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Museum number Am,-. Description Offering vessel made of tecalli in this case calcite onyx , in the form of an ocelot. The eyes and mouth of the vessel were probably once inlaid with semi precious shell or stone and the two depressions hollowed in the back were used to place offerings. Production date circa. Materials onyx. Dimensions Diameter: 33 centimetres Height: 16 centimetres Width: 21 centimetres.

Curator’s comments McEwan This offering vessel represents an ocelot Leopardus pardalis , the largest of a number of highland species of small wild cat that grows up to a metre in length, has a long tail and fur patterned like that of a jaguar.


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Located 48 km northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacan is one the archaeological sites with the longest history of exploration in Mexico. The first surveys date from​.

This vessel is carved entirely from steatite, or soapstone. The artist invested a considerable amount of labor in this depiction of what is likely the Teotihuacan storm god, known to the later Aztecs as Tlaloc. The head of the god lies on the neck of the vessel and is marked by a prominent upper lip and four fangs, accentuated by a drilled hole beneath the teeth. The deity is shown squatting on the vessel; his legs and sandaled feet are shown on the side of the vessel’s body.

His left hand grasps a bundle of darts, while his right holds what is likely a spear thrower with which he could hurl the darts. In ancient Mesoamerica, gods of rain and storms were often depicted with weapons, symbolizing their power to wield damaging lighting and thunder.

Stone mask from Teotihuacan in Mexico

Visit the Teotihuacan archeological site, known as the City of the Gods, as the sun begins to rise over the pyramids. Climb the pyramids of the Sun…. Join an archeological adventure that includes several of the most important sites in the Mexico City area.

Cultures/periods: Teotihuacan. Production date: (circa). Findspot: Excavated/Findspot: Mexico. Americas: North America: Mexico. Materials: onyx.

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A Secret Tunnel Found in Mexico May Finally Solve the Mysteries of Teotihuacán

Teotihuacan is known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. It is the most important and largest pre-Columbian city in Mexico. At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the first millennium CE , Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at , or more, [2] [3] making it at least the sixth-largest city in the world during its epoch.

The city covered 8 square miles; 80 to 90 percent of the total population of the valley resided in Teotihuacan. Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is also anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the Avenue of the Dead, and its vibrant, well-preserved murals.

drainage canals near the springs have been dated to Teotihuacan times (​Gamboa. Cabezas ; Sánchez Sánchez ), efforts to date the system of drained.

It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a highland basin on the Mexican plateau which was centered on a large, shallow lake known as the “Lake of the Moon”, about 50 km 30 miles northeast of modern Mexico City. The city was founded about B. An eruption of the volcano Xitle had sent the residents of Cuicuilco fleeing around the lake to the northeast, where they laid out their new metropolis according to a meticulously gridded “grand design”.

When archaeologists began seriously excavating the site in the ‘s, they found that the entire city and its environs had been oriented along axes that varied Thus, the the principal thoroughfare of the city — called by the Aztecs “The Street of the Dead” — began at the Pyramid of the Moon and ran south-southwestward along an azimuth i. See photograph above. All major structures, such as the gigantic Pyramid of the Sun seen in the middle background of the photograph above and from its western front in the photograph below , and all cross-streets were aligned at right angles to this in turn, meaning that they were oriented to an azimuth of Yet, when the sunset azimuths are calculated for those dates, it will quickly be seen that they occur at

Astronomy at Teotihuacan

Dig sites sloshed over with water; a torrent of mud and debris coursed past rows of souvenir stands at the main entrance. He is fond of saying that there are few living humans who know the place as intimately as he does. Nothing: only darkness. So he tied a line of heavy rope around his waist and, with several colleagues holding onto the other end, he descended into the murk. He theorized that he was now looking at a kind of mirror tunnel, leading to a subterranean chamber beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent.

If he was correct, it would be a find of stunning proportions—the type of achievement that can make a career.

Ancient Teotihuacan: Early Urbanism in Central Mexico (Case Studies in Excavations of buildings along with ceramic dating gives a historic time line that.

Continue reading to find out more about The ruins reveal a city planned and built on a massive scale, the great pyramids so huge that before their refurbishment one would have passed them by as hills without a second look. At its height this must have been the most imposing city in pre-Hispanic America, with a population thought to have been around , though estimates vary , spread over an area of some 23 square kilometres as opposed to the four square kilometres of the ceremonial centre.

Back then, every building — grey hulks now — would have been covered in bright polychrome murals. The main entrance, by Puerta 1, is at the southern end of the 2km-long Calzada de los Muertos Causeway of the Dead , which originally extended 1. A broad roadway some 40m wide and linking all the most significant buildings, it was built to impress, with the low buildings that flank most of its length serving to heighten the impact of the two great pyramid temples at the northern end.

Neither is it in any way linked with the dead, although the Aztecs believed the buildings that lined it, then little more than earth-covered mounds, to be the burial places of kings. They are not, and although the exact function of most remains unclear, all obviously had some sacred significance. The design, seen in the many reconstructions, is fairly uniform: low three- or four-storey platforms consisting of vertical panels tableros supported by sloping walls. In many cases several are built on top of each other — clearly demonstrated in the Edificios Superpuestos superimposed buildings on the left-hand side shortly beyond the river.

Directly opposite the entrance at Puerta 1 lies La Ciudadela, the Citadel.

Ride Day 20: Mexico City to the Teotihuacan Ruins, Mexico

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