fall of empires

fall of empires - ThefallofTeotihuacan By Herb Souza...

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The fall of Teotihuacan By Herb Souza Teotihuacan, literally translated from the Nahuatl language of the natives, means “the Place  Where the Gods Were Made”. The city is among the largest and most impressive pre-Columbian sites in  the Americas – anthropologist Michael Coe referred to it as “the most important site in the whole of  Mexico” 1  - yet the dense shroud of mystery that has always covered it is only just beginning to be lifted,  and there are many questions we may never be able to answer. The goal of this essay is to examine the  social and political make-up of the city, and through it arrive at a working theory of the happened to bring  about the fall of Teotihuacan. The essay will argue that the fall of the city and it's empire was a rebellion  within the city itself, a result of class warfare sparked by economic and environmental disaster that had  both sprouted up around it, and been caused by it. At its height circa 500 A.D., the City of Teotihuacan was the 6 th  largest city in the world 2 . It's great  pyramid, the Pyramid of the Sun, is the 3 rd  largest pre-industrial pyramid constructed 3 , and the largest in  the Americas, at 213 feet high. The City of Teotihuacan had an estimated population of over 200,000 4   taking up 14 square miles, and an economic and military empire that stretched as far north as the modern  Mexican state of Jalisco, and as far south as Guatemala and Honduras 5  - a cultural spread that remained  unrivaled up until the Spanish Conquest in the 16 th   century. The events leading up to the sudden and  mysterious abandonment of Teotihuacan in the 8 th   century after over 700 years of dominating the  Mesoamerican region can only be surmised, pieced together from archaeological data; the Teotihuacan’s  had no written language that we know of, and no pictorial history, like those of the later Toltec’s and 
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Aztecs. Recently, through the seminal excavation work by René Millon and his  Teotihuacan Mapping  Project in  the 1980s and the subsequent analysis of his data, we have begun to get an idea of the size,  scope and make-up of the Teotihuacan population.  The City of Teotihuacan was founded in a valley of dormant volcanoes rich in deposits of gray  and green obsidian, a volcanic rock used to make mirrors and artwork and a valuable commodity at the time. The City itself was centered on a lava-cave that stretched in a winding tunnel until it terminated at a natural spring 6 . The cave was considered holy, and the pyramid of the sun was built directly on top of it and enlarged over the centuries until it reached its current height. According to Anthropologist Ross
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course HIST 2234 taught by Professor 4444 during the Spring '10 term at CSU Pueblo.

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fall of empires - ThefallofTeotihuacan By Herb Souza...

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