Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is an ancient city in the Valley of Mexico City, and in the first millennium AD - The largest cultural center of Mexico. Until now, it has not been precisely established what kind of people he created in the 3rd 2nd centuries BC. Teotihuacan culture. It is assumed that these were the ancestors of the Nahua, an Indian tribe of the Aztec group, who worshiped the rain god Tlaloc and deified the jaguars.

Teotihuacan is an ancient city in the Valley of Mexico City, and in the first millennium AD - The largest cultural center of Mexico

When the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico City, the city of Teotihuacan no longer existed. There were only many hills overgrown with grass, over which towered two mighty pyramids, according to legend, marking the "birthplace of the Sun and Moon". The true name of the ancient city is unknown, and later the name "Teotihuacan" in the Nahua language means "the place of the transformation of the gods".

Meanwhile, the first settlements arose in these places as far back as the 5th century BC. According to archaeological excavations, the city of Teotihuacan was founded at the end of the 1st century AD, and in the 5th century it was already the largest city in Central America. According to some estimates, the number of its inhabitants reached 200 thousand people.

The center of Teotihuacan consists of two long intersecting "avenues" oriented to the cardinal points. The long (up to 3,5 km) and wide (up to 50 m) "Street of the Dead" stretches from north to south. At its northern end is a gigantic array of the Pyramid of the Moon - a five-tier structure with a flat top. The base of the pyramid is 150x130 m, height 42 m.

To the east of the "Street of the Dead" stands the main temple of Teotihuacan, the Temple of the Sun - a gray truncated pyramid of enormous size. By the perfection of forms and their skillful location in space, the Temple of the Sun in Teotihuacan is considered the standard of world architecture. This is the third tallest pyramid in the world.

According to researchers, the temple of the Sun was built for about twenty years, and at least twenty thousand people worked on its construction. The Temple of the Sun is composed of earth, stones, and raw brick dried in the sun. In the early 1970s, archaeologists discovered burial chambers in the thickness of the pyramid, and under the pyramid - a natural cave, divided into several rooms, interconnected by tunnels.

In terms of plan, the Temple of the Sun is a rectangle with a length of sides 225x220 m. Today's height of the temple is 63 m, previously it was 75 m. According to the tradition of Indian temples, the pyramid ends with the platform on which there once was the main sanctuary dedicated to the god of the Sun (now it is destroyed). The temple was crowned by a stone monolithic statue, decorated with a polished gold disc, which dazzled in the sunshine.

The entire space along the Teotihuacan "Streets of the Dead" is built up with majestic buildings - temples, palaces, public buildings. In the very center of the city, "Street of the Dead" rests on an extensive complex of buildings, known as the "Ciutadella" ("Citadel").

This is a giant quadrangular platform about 400 m long, to the top of which a wide staircase leads from the western side. Four smaller platforms adjacent strictly to the cardinal directions are adjacent to the Ciutadella, each of which has four pyramids. On the inner square of "Ciutadella" is located one of the main temples of Teotihuacan - "Temple of Quetzalcoatl". This six-tier stone pyramid is decorated with sculptures of the Feathered Serpent - Quetzalcoatl.

North of Ciutadella, the Street of the Dead crosses the Western and Eastern Avenues at right angles. All other streets stretch parallel to these avenues, forming the correct grid of neighborhoods, built up with almost the same size (57-60 m long) palaces, which are decorated with magnificent frescoes and colonnades with magnificent carvings.

Closely built-up neighborhoods of the ordinary population of Teotihuacan - merchants, artisans, farmers, hunters, etc. adjoined the aristocratic center.

The structure of the Teotihuacan state remains largely unclear. What was it - a giant single "empire", or simply a strong city-state that subjugated neighboring tribes and made them dependent on themselves?

Judging by archaeological data, Teotihuacan died in the era of its highest prosperity (450-650 CE). The death of the city came instantly, according to some versions - from the Toltec invasion. Ancient Teotihuacan was abandoned for many years, and only the ancient pyramids continued to lonely rise above the plain, marking the birthplace of the Moon and the Sun.

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