The amazing ancient city of Teotihuacan is located in Mexico, 40 km from Mexico City. The city is fraught with many unsolved mysteries, and often information about it is perceived as a theory. Let’s find out some reliable facts about Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan was built in the 2nd century BC; in the 2nd century AD it became a regional center. It is still not known who built this city. The peak of Teotihuacan’s heyday – 450-600 years. At that time about 200 thousand people lived in the city, and the area of Teotihuacan was 26-28 square kilometers.
The name “Teotihuacan” in translation means “City of Gods”, “Birthplace of the Gods”, or “Place where Gods were born”. The city received this name thanks to the Aztecs who came to this city later and were amazed by the size of the structures. Then a legend arose that the city was built by giants.
Three large pyramids were built in Teotihuacan: the Quetzalcoatl pyramid, the pyramid of the Sun and the pyramid of the Moon. The pyramids are located high above the sea level, at an altitude of about 2285 m.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the third highest pyramid in the world. Now its height is 64.5 m and it consists of 5 tiers. Previously, the height of the pyramid of the Sun was 71 m, as the temple was on top of the pyramid. The perimeter of the base of the famous pyramid is 894 m. Scientists think that the number of Pi is laid here, since if the number 894 is divided by 71 and by 4, then it turns out to be 3.14. Thus, there is a theory that ancient civilizations knew about the “Pi” number.
Under the pyramid of the Sun is a mysterious cave, perhaps the royal tomb. The pyramid is surrounded by canals with water from three sides. There are 248 steps leading to the top of the pyramid of the Sun.
The Pyramid of the Moon was erected in honor of the goddess of water and fertility. Its height is 46 meters, and it consists of 5 tiers. Most likely the pyramid of the Moon served as a place of sacrifice: the remains of sacrificed people and animals were found under the pyramid. On the square in front of the Pyramid of the Moon there are another 12 smaller pyramids. The Pyramid’s staircase leads to the Road of the Dead, and on its top there is a platform for ritual ceremonies.
From the pyramid Quetzalcoatl to the pyramid of the Moon there is the so-called “Avenue of the Dead”, “Road of the Dead”. The length of this road is 5 km (of which only 3 km are open to tourists), and the width is 40 m. The Aztecs called the road that way because when they came to the ruined city, along the sides of this wide road they found the remains of people and stones. They thought that those were graves. Later it was established that on the sides of the road there were not burials, but base of the temple.
It is noteworthy that the Road of the Dead is not directed strictly to the north, but deviates by 15.5 degrees to the east. Although it is known that the Indian civilizations were fixated on the severity of the forms and correctness of their structures. It is believed that all the buildings of Teotihuacan are located with scientific, astronomical accuracy in accordance with the stars, planets and other objects of the galaxy.
In the center of Teotihuacan there is the Citadel – a huge space surrounded by four wide walls of 390 meters in length each. Presumably the Citadel served as the residence of the Supreme ruler of the city. Its walls are crowned by 15 small pyramids, and in the center there is the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Templo de Quetzalcóatl). The most interesting place can be called the facade of the Templo de Quetzalcóatl, dating back 250-300 years BC, while the temple itself was built in the following century. The four remaining steps of the facade are decorated with beautiful carvings.
To the north of the main complex, there is another group of buildings – the palaces of Tetitla and Atetelco. Most of the frescoes decorating the palaces have been preserved in excellent condition. At Tetitla Palace, at least 120 walls are decorated with frescoes depicting Tláloc – the God of rain and thunder, snakes and eagles. 400 meters west of Tetitla there is the Atetelco Palace with original and restored frescoes depicting jaguars and coyotes.
The museum “Museo Teotihuacán” contains many artifacts discovered during the excavations on the territory of the complex – these are frescos and large-scale models of the ancient city.
Teotihuacan was abandoned in the VII century. It is still not known what caused the death of the city and why people left it. Today this legendary city is the largest archaeological site.
Teotihuacan had a strong influence on the culture of much of ancient Meso-America and continued to exert even after its sunset. The influence that Teotihuacan had on Aztecs spread to Salvador and Guatemala. For the ancient Indians and their descendants, Teotihuacan was and is not only a major religious, political and cultural center, but also the birthplace of the gods, the place where the fifth sun was created, where a new era of human history began.