Teotihuacan Archeological Site in Mexico

Central America - Editor - 23 June 2011

Teotihuacan Archeological Site in Mexico

Mexico is known as a country that is rich in history and fascinating attractions, and one of the sites that is amongst the most popular is Teotihuacan. It is an archeological site that was once an ancient sacred location, as it is the site where the Aztecs believed the universe was created by the gods. Its early history is still a mystery, but it is known that the site was constructed some time from 200 BCE onwards and the ruins are viewed as some of the most important in the world. There are three structures at the site that are particularly noteworthy, namely the Pyramid of the Moon, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramid of the Sun.

The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest of its kind in the world, emphasizing the importance of this site, which is situated just outside of Mexico City. The name, Teotihuacan, is translated to "Place Where gods Were Born", and the entire site was constructed with great detail given to geometric principals and symbolic philosophy that was unique to the Teotihuacanos. The mystery surrounding the site makes it even more remarkable, as scientists have been unable to discover what language or religious beliefs the builders of the site had. It is known that the city developed into a commercial and cultural Mecca for Mesoamerica, and was abruptly abandoned by its residents, with the reason for them deserting the city also remaining a mystery.

It is believed that the first residents in the area arrived in 500 BCE and that the Pyramid of the Sun was constructed during 100 BCE. This magnificent city, filled with glistening temples, palaces and pyramids, was at the height of its existence during 450 CE, and blanketed an area of approximately thirty-one square kilometers. Through murals excavated at the site, scientists and archeologists have established that the Teotihuacanos were great warriors of their time. They did not attack cities or other populations to increase their territory, but rather to abduct people who would become their prisoners and were kept for their sacrificial ceremonies. They believed that human sacrifices would ward off the end of the world. It seems that thousands of sacrifices were made as they believed the end of the world was near, and sacrifices were also made to inaugurate new buildings or alterations. For instance, three pits containing hundreds of skeletons were found underneath the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, as well as the skeletal remains of children were discovered on the corners of every step of the Pyramid of the Sun. The city was abandoned in approximately 700 CE, and was destroyed by fire, burying most of the structures. In 1320 the Aztecs named the site and it became a place of pilgrimage for them. The site was rediscovered in 1520, by Fernando Cortes.

Visitors will be able to visit the three pyramids, grand houses, and the remains of various other structures. Ceremonial structures are still visible, as is the Avenue of the Dead and the Palace of Quetzalpapaloti, also referred to as the Palace of Jaguars. Teotihuacan is a recommended attraction in Mexico, as it is a journey back into ancient times and civilizations.


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