Teotihuacan Notes - Teotihuacan Mexicos Most Mysterious...

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TeotihuacanMexico’s Most Mysterious CultureBecause they disappeared before the Spanish arrived, there is no documentation from the Spaniards about their cultureEven the Aztecs in nearby Tenochtitlan knew little about them because their culture arrived so much later than the disappearance of the Teotihuacan peopleThe early history of Teotihuacan is shrouded in mystery—little is known about its builders including their name, precise religious beliefs, or languageThe city became the epicenter of culture and commerce for ancient Mesoamerica, surpassing Rome in size, yet its inhabitants suddenly abandoned it for unknown reasonsEvidence from their murals indicates that the Teotihuacanos were formidable warriors and that their aim in warfare was not conquest of territory, but the capture of prisoners who were sacrificed to avert the end of the worldAccording to the mythology shared by most ancient people of Central America, the world had undergone four cycles or “suns”They lived in the fifth sun, which was already old. Thus, they expected the end of the world at any moment, which was expected to happen by earthquakesIn an effort to postpone this cataclysmic event, human captives were sacrificed by the thousandsHumans also seem to have been sacrificed to delicate a new or expanded buildingIn the Pyramid of the Sun, the corner of each step contained skeletons of children. Discovered below the Temple of Quetzalcoatl were three burial pits full of skeletonsOther important deities at Teotihuacan included: the Rain God (called Tlaloc by the Aztecs)Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent; the Sun God and Moon Goddess; and Xipe Totec (Our Lord the Flayed One, associated with renewed vegetation). Incense burners have been found related to the Old Fire god, a creator divinity possibly associated with the Spider WomanThe area was settled by 400 B.C., but it didn’t experience large-scale urban growth until three centuries later

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Term
Spring
Professor
Hollingsworth,J.
Tags
Mesoamerica, Aztec, Teotihuacan, Mesoamerican chronology

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