The Largest City in the pre-Columbian Americas

November 28

Pyramid of the Moon::Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Pyramid of the Moon

In the highlands of Central Mexico flourished the most significant city in the Western Hemisphere. With its estimated population of at least one hundred thousand, Teotihuacán was the largest in Mesoamerica and one of the largest in the world at that time. The size of this city strikes from the moment you enter the Avenue of the Dead. It is an overwhelming number of structures. Besides great pyramids, there are richly decorated elite dwellings and thousands of residential buildings for ordinary residents.

Pyramid of the Sun::Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Pyramid of the Sun
Avenue of the Dead::Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Avenue of the Dead

The Palace of Tepantitla contains the most famous mural in Teotihuacan, the Paradise of Tlaloc. The mural shows residentsÂ’ daily life. They are singing and playing. Flowing water irrigates soil and allows plants to grow. Between all the figures butterflies are flying. However, this is not the endlessly carefree image of the city at that time. Staring at the details, we can find people with different skin colors, red, yellow, and blue, which could represent the classes of the Teotihuacan society. In one scene, ball players are playing a ritual game with a blue man in the center. Another scene shows people bound together in a line. They probably are led for the sacrificed.

Paradise of Tlaloc Mural::Palace of Tepantitla, Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Paradise of Tlaloc Mural
Priest Sowing Seeds::Palace of Tepantitla, Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Priest Sowing Seeds

The third largest in Teotihuacan is the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent. The slopes of the pyramid decorated are with stone heads of two gods, the Feathered Serpent or Quetzalcoatl and the rain god, or Tlaloc. The circular goggles easily distinguish the latter. In various locations near the pyramid, archeologists discovered over 200 human remains. These are the sacrificial burials, most likely related to of the dedication of the temple during its construction.

Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc Heads::Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc Heads
Feathered Serpent Pyramid::Ciudadela, Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Feathered Serpent Pyramid
Trailer Park Teotihuacan::Teotihuacan, Mexico::
Trailer Park Teotihuacan

We spent our nights at Trailer Park Teotihuacan. We were the only guests among several overland vehicles with European registration plates. Their owners took a break in their American trips and probably went to visit their families back home. This is where we left our trusty Balios and went by bus to Mexico City for two days.

© 2016 Maciej Swulinski