Teotihuacan , located 30 miles northeast from Mexico City in Mexico , is a sacred site containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas.
The site covers a total surface area of 83km² and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico. Teotihuacan is characterized by enormous monuments that have been carefully laid out based on symbolic and geometric principles.
The city was thought to have been established around 200 BCE, lasting until its fall sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. At this time it may have had more than 200,000 inhabitants, placing it among the largest cities of the world in that period. The civilization and cultural complex associated with the site is also referred to as Teotihuacano.
Apart from the pyramidal structures, Teotihuacan is also known for its large residential complexes, the Avenue of the Dead, and numerous colorful, well-preserved murals. Teotihuacan produced a thin orange pottery style that spread through Mesoamerica.
The early history of Teotihuacan is quite mysterious .Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is also a subject of debate. For many years, archaeologists believed it was built by the Toltec Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have also suggested that Teotihuacan was a multiethnic state.
Things to see
Teotihuacan is a very popular site to visit, as these ruins are among Mexico’s most remarkable, as well as some of the most important in the world. Here are the best stings to see when visiting Teotihuacan:
- Temple of Quetzalcoatl is one of most monumental structures, located in the center of the area and boasts its fine decoration and lavish offerings. This temple has a pyramid built on top of it called the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, where over 200 ceremonially buried warriors skeletons have been found by archaeologists.
- The Pyramid of the Sun is positioned on the Avenue of the Dead’s east side, is the 3rd biggest pyramid in the world. This structure hasn’t been completely understood yet, but is built over a sacred cave that has the shape of a 4 leaf clover. The first part of the Pyramid was built about 100 BC, being completed 400 years later.
- The Pyramid of the Moon faces the northern plaza and has no discovered features in its interior, such as a cave.