The city and its great Citadel.
"Where the Gods Were Born". There was no time during our first visit to check out the area south of the Pyramid of the Sun. In order to cover as much ground as possible, we allotted two full days for our second visit. We decided to start with the Citadel and its Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent.
Museum of Teotihuacán Culture (also known as the Manuel Gamio Museum) as your first step in exploring the city. The contents of the museum, and particularly the model, will help you better understand this ancient empire and its capital city.
Entrance stairs and perimeter wall temples
The Sunken Plaza and its Central Altar
- Formative phase (800-100 BC). A time of small farms and villages.
- Patlachique phase (100 BC-1 AD). Beginning of urbanization. City grows to 5000 residents.
- Tzacualli phase (1-150 AD). Pyramid of the Sun is built. 30,000 residents.
- Miccaotli phase (150-250 AD). Both the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent are constructed. Population rises to 45,000.
- Tlalmimilolpa phase (250-450 AD). Adosado Platform is added to the Plumed Serpent Pyramid. The Citadel is created by surrounding the area with a perimeter wall topped by 15 small pyramids. 65,000 inhabitants.
- Xolalpan phase (450-650 AD). Teotihuacán's power and influence peak. Population hits 85,000-100,000 (some have estimated as high as 200,000).
- Metepec phase (650-750 AD). Elite areas of the city are sacked and burned, probably by an internal revolt. Population declines from 70,000 to complete abandonment by the end of this phase.
View from atop the Adosado Platform
The Plumed Serpent Pyramid
The Plumed Serpent Pyramid and human sacrifice
So, in sum, Teotihuacán's Citadel played a very significant role in the city. It functioned as an administrative center and as the gathering place for huge public markets. It was designed to be the physical center of the city, dividing it into four districts. By extension it was also the center of the Teotihuacán Empire. The Citadel played a much more fundamental role, however. It was the symbolic center of the Teotihuacán cosmos, with the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent functioning as a huge cosmic calendar.
This completes my posting. I hope you found it interesting. If you would like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below, or email me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim