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Teotihuacán

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Author Topic: Teotihuacán  (Read 283 times)
Michelle Sandberg
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« on: August 17, 2007, 01:15:41 pm »

The name Teotihuacán was given by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec centuries after the fall of the city. The term has been glossed as 'birthplace of the gods,' reflecting Nahua creation myths that took place in Teotihuacán. Another translation was offered by Thelma Sullivan, who interprets the name as "place of those who have the road of the gods."

The original name of the city is unknown, but it appears in hieroglyphic texts from the Maya region as 'puh', or "Place of Reeds". This suggests that the Maya understood Teotihuacán as a 'Place of Reeds' similar to other Central Mexican settlements that took the name 'Tollan,' such as Tula-Hidalgo and Cholula. This naming convention led to much confusion in the early 20th century as scholars debated whether Teotihuacán or Tula-Hidalgo was the Tollan described by 16th–century chronicles. It now seems clear that 'Tollan' may be understood as a generic term applied to any large settlement, rather like the modern expression "the Big Smoke". In the Mesoamerican concept of urbanism, Tollan and other language equivalents serve as a metaphor, linking the bundles of reeds and rushes that formed part of the lacustrine environment of the Valley of Mexico and the large gathering of people in a city.
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