Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan /tˌtwəˈkɑːn/[1] (Spanish: Teotihuacán) (Spanish pronunciation: [teotiwa'kan] (listen); modern Nahuatl pronunciation ) is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, which is located in the State of Mexico, 40 kilometers (25 mi) northeast of modern-day Mexico City. Teotihuacan is known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the first millennium (1 AD to 500 AD), Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more,[2][3] making it at least the sixth-largest city in the world during its epoch.[4]

Teotihuacan
View of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Moon.
Location of the site
Teotihuacan (Mexico)
Teotihuacan (State of Mexico)
LocationTeotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico
Coordinates19°41′33″N 98°50′38″W
History
PeriodsLate Preclassic to Late Classic
Site notes
Architecture
Architectural stylesTalud-tablero
Official namePre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
CriteriaCultural: i, ii, iii, iv, vi
Reference414
Inscription1987 (11th Session)
Area3,381.71 ha

The city covered eight square miles; 80 to 90 percent of the total population of the valley resided in Teotihuacan. Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is also anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the Avenue of the Dead, and its vibrant, well-preserved murals. Additionally, Teotihuacan exported fine obsidian tools that are found throughout Mesoamerica. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 AD.[2] The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 AD. Its collapse might be related to the extreme weather events of 535–536.

Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century AD. It became the largest and most populated center in the pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacan was home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate the large population.[2] The term Teotihuacan (or Teotihuacano) is also used for the whole civilization and cultural complex associated with the site.

Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; evidence of Teotihuacano presence can be seen at numerous sites in Veracruz and the Maya region. The later Aztecs saw these magnificent ruins and claimed a common ancestry with the Teotihuacanos, modifying and adopting aspects of their culture. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is the subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi, or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have suggested that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic state since they find cultural aspects connected to the Maya as well as Oto-Pamean people. After the collapse of Teotihuacan, central Mexico was dominated by more regional powers, notably Xochicalco and Tula.

The city and the archeological site are located in what is now the San Juan Teotihuacán municipality in the State of México, approximately 40 kilometers (25 mi) northeast of Mexico City. The site covers a total surface area of 83 square kilometers (32 sq mi) and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.[5] It is the most visited archeological site in Mexico, receiving 4,185,017 visitors in 2017.[6]