In AD 500, Teotihuacán was the largest and most sophisticated city in Mesoamerica. Today, it is a famous visitation site and remains one of the greatest wonders of the world.
Teotihuacán is an Aztec term for “Place of the Gods” and according to local legend, the sun and the moon were born there. The native people built religious monuments, artisan quarters, and private houses. But the Teotihuacáns were most known for their pyramids and temples. Archaeologists gained information on the city’s structure by carefully analyzing the ancient engravings and statues.
Teotihuacán was highly complex, with a specific grid system that precisely diverted a river into a channel in order to avoid complications with the parallel streets. The city’s main axis ran north-south, creating a large street called the Street of the Dead, which ran through the center of the city.
The Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, standing at over 150 feet high, overshadowed all other temples and shrines. Located at the core of the city was the Great Compound and the Citadel. The Citadel served a religious purpose, while the Great Compound was used for administrative work. The Quetzalcoatl, a temple supported by the Citadel, was used for praising the Feathered Serpent God. The Feathered Serpent held great importance according to the temple.
The Teotihuacáns conquered an area originally belonging to the Mayans at the start of the fifth century and many aspects of Mayan culture can be found in Teotihuacán culture. Esperanza culture is a term used to describe the Mayans and Teotihuacán amalgams, located near the core of Guatemala City.
The people of Teotihuacán were renowned for their intricate murals, grand temples, and meticulously constructed city. These innovators set the stage for generations of future Mesoamericans.