Stonework of the Gods: The incredible ancient city of Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan, aka birthplace of the gods, is an ancient city where –according to the Aztecs— the GODS created the universe. The early history of this ancient city is filled with enigmas, and its origin and founders are unknown to history. The ancient Teotihuacanos did not leave behind ANY written records, and we have no way of knowing who founded the city, what caused its decline or even what the real name of the place was.
We do know that Teotihuacan was one of the LARGEST pre-Columbian cities in the Americas with an estimated population of around 200,000 people during its peak, meaning that it was among five of the LARGEST cities in the world during its epoch.
Archaeological evidence points towards the fact that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic city, with distinct quarters occupied by Otomi, Zapotec, Mixtec, Maya, and Nahua people.
The power of Teotihuacan was felt nearly all Mesoamerican routes, as show the discoveries in cities like Tikal and Monte Albán, among other places that had an important relation with the Teotihuacanos.
While researchers today call the city Teotihuacan, it was NOT the original name of the ancient city. This ancient city was named Teōtīhuacān by Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs centuries after the fall of the city sometime around 550 A.D.
In fact, almost 1000 years before the Aztecs, Teotihuacan was the largest urban center of Mesoamerica.
The only existing reference to Teotihuacan –before it was named by Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs— is believed to have been found in hieroglyphic texts from the Maya region as puh, or “Place of Reeds.”
This term ‘Teotihuacan’ has been translated to either “birthplace of the gods,” or “place where gods were born.” This translation accurately reflects the Nahua creation myths which are said to have occurred precisely at Teotihuacan.
Interestingly, Teotihuacan is the place where the Aztecs believed the GODS created the universe.
Just as many other pyramids around the globe, those found at Teotihuacan are beyond fascinating.
One of the most notorious characteristics about the pyramids and monuments found at Teotihuacan’s “Avenue of the Dead” is the fact that they seem to align in a perfect distance from each other, as if the builders created the structures copying the orbits of our planets in our solar system.
Many will find it an extraordinary details that the giant Pyramid of the Sun is positioned at the center of the other structures just as the Sun is at the center of our solar system and that the planets revolve around it.
Our solar system has –officially—nine planets, and curiously, the structure at Teotihuacan are NINE.
Interestingly, The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest building in Teotihuacan (coincidence?) and the second in all of Mesoamerica, just behind the Great Pyramid of Cholula.
Due to its size, the Pyramid can be seen several kilometers away. It has a height of 63 meters, with approximately 225 meters per side, reason why it is usually compared to the pyramid of Cheops in Giza.
The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan consists of five superimposed frustoconical bodies and a three-body structure. The pyramid of the sun is located on the eastern side of the Avenue of the Dead, practically aligned perpendicular to this road. Interestingly, the Pyramid of the Sun isn’t the oldest structure in the city. The Pyramid of the Moon is believed to be the oldest standing monument in Teotihuacan.
Interestingly, George Cowgill, an archaeologist at Arizona State University believes that the site’s visible surface remains have all been mapped in detail. But only five percent has been scientifically excavated.
So, who built this mindbending, supermassive city? Why was it abandoned? Why did it exist in the first place? Who lived there ONE THOUSAND years before the Aztecs? What was it’s original name? And why is it so fascinatingly mysterious? Anyone?