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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, 01:28:12 pm »

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The city's broad central avenue, called "Avenue of the Dead" (a translation from its Nahuatl name Miccaotli), is flanked by impressive ceremonial architecture, including the immense Pyramid of the Sun (second largest in the New World after the Great Pyramid of Cholula) and the Pyramid of the Moon. Along the Avenue of the Dead are many smaller talud-tablero platforms. The Aztecs believed they were tombs, inspiring the name of the avenue. Now they are known to be ceremonial platforms that were topped with temples. Further down the Avenue of the Dead is the area known as the Citadel, containing the ruined Temple of the Feathered Serpent. This area was a large plaza surrounded by temples that formed the religious and political center of the city. The name "Citadel" was given to it by the Spanish, who believed it was a fort. Many of the rich and powerful Teotihuacanos lived in Palaces near the temples, the largest of these covering more than 3300 m². Most of the common people lived in large apartment buildings spread across the city. Many of the buildings contained workshops that produced pottery and other goods.

The geographical layout of Teotihuacán is a good example of the Mesoamerican tradition of planning cities, settlements and buildings as a representation of the Teotihuacano view of the Universe. Its urban grid is aligned to precisely 15.5º east of North. The Street of the Dead, in particular, seems to line up with Cerro Gordo to the north of the Pyramid of the Moon. Pecked-cross circles throughout the city and in the surrounding regions indicate how the grid was managed over long distances.

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