Blog Precolumbian

Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Sun

The pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, which stand in the center of the Teotihuacán, are two of the most impressive man-made monuments in the Americas. Unlike the Maya, with whom they traded, the Teotihuacanos did not have a written language. Nonetheless, their ceremonial and religious center became the largest pre- Columbian site in the Americas and one of the world’s great cities.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, 1958.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, 1958.

A view of the Sun Pyramid

A view of the Sun Pyramid from the Moon Pyramid. Teotihuacan, Mexico. Taken in 1905 before the major restoration work had taken place.

The pyramid rises 216 feet (65 meters) above ground level, and each side at the base is longer than two football fields. This gigantic structure, which is only surpassed in size by the Pyramid of Cholula in the whole of Meso-America, is laid out in such a way that the sun sets exactly from the opposite of its front side on the summer solstice day. The base area (220x225m) is almost as big as the Egyptian pyramid of Cheops; its height (65m, with the former temple 74m) is less by 70m. Homes for the priests surrounded the ceremonial center, and beyond them were the homes of the craftsmen and farmers.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico, circa 1906.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico, circa 1906.

The capacity of its interior, which for the most part is filled with adobe bricks, has been estimated as being a million cubic meters. During ill-fated restoration work at the beginning of this century, a layer of stucco and stone not less than 7m thick was lost from the original covering of the pyramid. Two rows of steps lead across the entrance building, which is divided into three parts, up to the first level section of the pyramid.

From here a wide staircase goes past several intermediate storeys to the top of the building, where the temple once stood. From the top, the visitor has a magnificent view of the whole archaeological site of the most beautiful cities in the world before Cortez conquered it in 1519.

Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent), detail from Teotihuacán, Mexico.

Quetzalcoatl, detail from Teotihuacan, Mexico.
In Mesoamerican myth Quetzalcóatl was the god of winds and rain, and the creator of the world and humanity. The name of Quetzalcóatl comes from the ancient Nahuatl word quetzalli, meaning “long green feather”. The second part of Quetzalcoatl’s name comes from the word coatl, meaning “snake”.

Quetzalcóatl T-Shirt
Price: $21.59
(3 customer reviews)
  • This design was inspired by the Quetzalcóatl bas-relief at the Feathered Serpent Temple in Teotihuacan. Quetzalcóatl was drawn and colored with Mexican colors.
  • The name of Quetzalcóatl comes from the ancient Nahuatl word quetzalli, meaning “long green feather”. The second part of Quetzalcoatl’s name comes from the word coatl, meaning “snake”.
  • In Mesoamerican myth Quetzalcóatl was the god of winds and rain, and the creator of the world and humanity.
  • Available on Amazon US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan stores and Redbubble (worldwide),
  • Other Products on Amazon (US): Tank TopV-NeckPremium T-ShirtLong SleeveSweatshirt, Pullover Hoodie,
  • Fit Type: Men & Women,
  • Machine wash cold with like colors, dry low heat.

In 1971 a 7m deep shaft was discovered by chance at the foot of the main flight of steps. From it, a 103m long passageway leads to a group of four cloverleaf-shaped rooms. Inside these chambers, which until today have not been open to the public, the remains of ceramic objects and slates have been discovered, presumably left behind after acts of plunder.

The most wide-ranging speculative theories have been advanced as to the purpose of this cave system, which was probably laid out around AD 250. These theories extend from a place of sacrifice or a tomb to a cult chamber dedicated to the rain or maize gods.

Teotihuacan survived until 1.200 years ago. Its impressive pyramids and many of its buildings still stand. When the Spanish came here in 1519 after their defeat at Tenochtitlan, the Conquista (Noche Triste), the old city was completely covered with earth.

The first excavations were undertaken in 1864 by Almaraz, and these were followed in the 1880s by those of Desire Charnay and Leopoldo Batres. Reconstructions carried out at the beginning of the 20th c. partially destroyed and falsified the original outlines of some of the main buildings.

Further excavations and restorations carried out under Manuel Gamio, and Ignacio Marquina in the 1920s, and the other work started in 1962 by the Instituto Nacional de Arqueologia e Historia all resulted in outstanding achievements. The Arizona State University has continued this work. In 1988 UNESCO declared these ruins of Teotihuacan to be cultural heritage sites.

Be cheerful, enjoy your life T-Shirt
Price: $21.59
(16 customer reviews)
  • Available on Amazon US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan stores and Redbubble (worldwide).
  • Fit Type: Men & Women and Youth.
  • Other Products on Amazon (US): Tank TopV-Neck, Premium T-Shirt, Long SleeveSweatshirt, Tote Bag and Pullover Hoodie.
  • This design is inspired by the famous mosaic found in Antioch (modern-day Hatay, Turkey).
  • It says "Effrósinos"which means joyful, full of happiness, cheerful.
 
Cave Canem (Beware of dog) - 2nd Version T-Shirt
Price: $21.59
(3 customer reviews)
  • Available on Amazon US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan stores and Redbubble (worldwide).
  • Fit Type: Men & Women.
  • "Cave Canem" means "Beware of the dog" in Latin.
  • This design is inspired by the Roman mosaic at the Casa di Orfeo, Pompeii, Italy.
Minoan Octopus T-Shirt
Price: $21.59
(6 customer reviews)
  • Available on Amazon US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan stores and Redbubble (worldwide).
  • Fit Type: Men & Women and Youth.
  • Other Products on Amazon (US): Tank TopV-NeckPremium T-ShirtLong SleeveSweatshirt.
  • This design is inspired by an ancient Minoan vase. This vase, found at Palaikastro, a wealthy site on the far eastern coast of Crete, is the perfect example of elite Minoan ceramic manufacture.
Owl of Athena T-Shirt
Price: $21.59
(14 customer reviews)
  • Available on Amazon US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan stores and Redbubble (worldwide).
  • Fit Type: Men & Women and Youth.
  • Other Products on Amazon (US): Tank TopV-NeckPremium T-ShirtLong SleeveSweatshirtTote Bag and Pullover Hoodie.
  • Athena; Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Courage, Civilization and Justice, of Artisanal Skill and Strategic Warfare. The patron Goddess of Athens and her virtues were often represented with the Owl, for its ability to pierce through the gloam of night allows it the vision and perception to see well beyond those who are blinded by the darkness around them. In Athena the Athenians saw the virtues they sought to aspire to, and commemorated her by painting the Owl into their pottery and vases, and would even mint the unblinking and ever-vigilant Owl into their coinage.
 

Leave a Comment