Teotihuacán, México – The mysterious pyramid city

Who were they? Where did they come from? How did they live? And why did the leave? Until now not much is known about the creators of the city Teotihuacán, even its original name is unknown. It was built about 200 BC; its heydays were between 200 and 500 AD with estimated 85,000 inhabitants and an area of more than 20 sq km. As the Aztecs arrived in 1250 the pyramid place was abandoned for hundreds of years and partially destroyed. Overwhelmed by the facility the Aztecs thought that the gods themselves derive from here. They named the place Teotihuacán, home of the gods. They baptised the two largest pyramids after the sun and the moon and the 40 m wide and two kilometres long main road Calzada de los Muertos, road of the dead, assuming that the pyramid stumps along the main axis are funeral places.

With this and nearly everything else the Aztecs were mistaken. Humans – although with a lot of mathematical and astronomical knowledge – were the city’s creators. It is thought that they destroyed it themselves on abandoning. It is known today that the pyramid plinths are no graves, but their purpose is still shrouded in mystery. Sure is that there were units of accommodation and certain quarters for special occupational groups like weavers, dyers, potters, farmers, and traders. Their craft workmanship was highly developed and their creations of birds and the feathered snake influenced entire ethnic groups down to Guatemala.

Until today only 15 % of the city is excavated. But the area is still huge. Comfortable shoes, sun and rain protection as well as some provisions are recommended. The sun and the moon pyramid can be climbed and offer stunning views to the site. The sun pyramid is said to be the world’s third largest – after the famous Egyptian ones. The entrance fee is 51 Peso pp, parking is extra. There are regular busses from the campground, but it is possible to walk as well (distance 3 km).

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