Teotihuacan, Archaeological Site

Teotihuacan is the largest known pre-Columbian city in the Americas. This huge archaeological site covers more than 19 square miles and contains some of the largest pyramids ever built.

Teotihuacan, Archaeological Site
Teotihuacan, Archaeological Site

The main attractions of Teotihuacan are the Avenue of the Dead, with huge buildings and pyramids along, the Pyramid of the Sun which is the second largest ever built in America, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. The Avenue of the Dead is 2.5 km long and it divides the city in two sections. Apartment compounds with pyramidal constructions were arranged on both sides of the avenue, often symmetrically and sharing the same orientation. The Pyramid of the Sun was approximately 705 by 705 feet at its base, and about 205 feet high. It was significantly enlarged at least twice in later periods, resulting in a final size of 740 feet along each side.

Several graves were found In the temple of the Feathered Serpent, containing artifacts and jewelry. This temple is also the center of The Citadel, a large complex located at the geographic center of the city. It measures about 1, 720, 000 square feet. The interior space is surrounded by four large platforms surmounted by pyramids. The main plaza had a capacity of about 100,000 people without much crowding.

The archaeological site is located 25 miles north of Mexico City, and can be reached easily by bus from the capital of Mexico. Renting a car and driving in Mexico city is not suggested, the city is tricky and huge. There are many tour agencies offering transportation to Teotihuacan, this the easiest way to get to the site.

The construction of the city is dated back to 300 BC, and the building of the pyramids around 150 BC. The city reached its peak between 150 and 450 AD, with an estimated population of more than 200,000 inhabitants. The city developed relation with towns as far as Honduras, by trade and weddings between the ruling classes. The city was attacked and partly burned around the 7th or 8th century. Many of the statues and the buildings housing the elite class were completely leveled.

Excavation is still going on at Teotihuacan and covers more than 880 square feet at the moment. There is an interesting museum to visit at the site.