Starting the comparisons of Teotihuacan and Chaco Canyon, we can say that both being an important civilization centers in their respective region, with Teotihuacan being the major center in Mesoamerica, while the Chaco Canyon was the major center of the Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Another common factor were that they both shared the fact the sites were considered holy areas, which were considered important enough to warrant pilgrimages. Both had religious practices preformed in the centers with rituals in Teotihuacan being performed at the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, while in the Chaco Canyon religious ceremonies were conducted at one of the 32 kivas located within the great houses. Then finally, both sites were later abandon by
Another society that emerged within Mesoamerica was the metropolis of Teotihuacan that arose around the third century B.C. The city was marked by the construction of pyramids that were dedicated to the gods. These pyramids showed the extreme dedication towards the gods and goddesses from each and every individual living in the surrounding area which allowed the society to unite on a religious ground. Economically, the society was able to grow due to the large marketplace in Teotihuacan that fostered the trade of cacao, feathers, meats, produce, rubber, and more to be traded. The trade of these materials brought increased revenue into the city, allowing its residents to thrive. Geographically, Teotihuacan
Mesoamerica was once a place filled with expanding, ruthless empires and civilizations, although none was like the Aztecs and their empire. Although they started off with a humble beginning, they quickly grew into a great civilization that dominated present day Central Mexico. They conquered and expanded into an empire stronger than the other neighboring empires. The heart of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, was a grand capital filled with many people and astounding temples. The Aztecs were also ahead of their time with fully-functional government and irrigation systems. They continue to astound many historians with their diverse way of life. They impacted the way of life for many people today with their customs and ways of life. Throughout the years, the Aztecs were able to grow and prosper with their sufficient supply of agriculture and blessed fertile lands of the Mexican Valley, and demonstrated to be an important part of Mexican heritage. The Aztec civilization was truly one of Mesoamerica’s most influential empires because of their history, vibrant culture, and unique architecture.
The term culture is defined as “the distinctive features of a group that are learned rather than biological”, according to Essential Humanities. Religious beliefs, artistic traditions, and language can be placed under this definition. Mexico, specifically central Mexico, had been home to many civilizations; the three most dominant being Teotihuacan (4th to 6th century), the Toltecs (10th to 12th century) and the Aztecs (14th to 16h century). The Aztecs were the last of these cultures to settle there and as a result, were influenced greatly by the previously established groups. The most significant cultural influences of the Toltecs and Aztecs came primarily from the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Initially, Teotihuacan emerged as a new religious center and by the 4th century, it was a place of religion, culture and art. The city flourished for centuries and before its decline in AD 700, was a large, cosmopolitan city with fairly large complexes made up of temples and monuments devoted to gods. Buildings were
Spanish explorers accompanied by soldiers led expeditions inland throughout South and present day-Latin America in the early 16th century. The Spanish were searching for a suitable Spanish colony that both represented Spain, and did not require the building of new cities from the ground up; but rather they wanted a solid foundation of a urban centre to build off of. The Aztec capital city of ‘Tenochititlan’ was the answer to these Spanish desires.
Tenochtitlan is the religious center and capital for the Aztec population which was well over 200,000 people (1). One of the best known structures from Tenochtitlan is the Templo Mayor, standing in the center of the city. Here they honored their gods as well as conducted rituals such as human sacrifice. Excavations at Tenochtitlan found human remains with wounds that explained stone carvings of violent myths of human sacrifice (2).
Annabelle Headrick’s The Teotihuacan Trinity: The Sociopolitical Structure of Ancient Mesoamerican City discusses the mystery behind the development of Teotihuacan, a city-state located in the Mesoamerica. Historically, not much is known about this great city, in terms rulers, cultural aspects, and even hieroglyphs. In the text, Headrick uses other Mesoamerican city-states, critical analysis and other historical documents to uncover the mysteries and to support her hypothesis of the Teotihuacan trinity, which comprised of rulers, lineages, and the military to shape the dynamics of the socio-political structure of Teotihuacan.
In Northern Mexico, a group of people known as the Aztecs arrived and became the dominant tribe in the region. Since the 13th century the Aztecs developed their capital city of Tenochtitlan as well as controlled their capital city of Tenochtitlan and their rival’s city-states. However in the 16th century invaders from Spain led by conquistador, Hernan Cortez, put an end to the Aztecs after taking Tenochtitlan (“Beyond Human Sacrifice”, 2002; “Montezuma, II”, 1998). Though the Aztec’s civilization crumbled, much of their art remains to tell stories of their religion and rituals that they practiced. Their art included statues of gods, ceremonial clothing, and illustrations depicting a warrior society built upon human sacrifice.
Tres Zapotes was occupied by the Olmecs and Epi-Olmecs (or post-Olmecs), with the majority of the remains from the Epi-Olmecs (1). The most important findings were two colossal heads and Stelae C (3). Stelae C was the second oldest Mesoamerican long count calendar, which dates back to 31 BC (3). The different structures and political mounds at the site shows how there wasn’t a centralized government, due to the equidistant spacing of the constructions (1). The people also had trade connections with other populations, which influenced the poplation’s art styles (2). For example, sculptures had similar styles to those from Izapa, Guatemala, whom they traded with (2). The population also had connections with the Mixe people from the Isthmian region of Mexico (3).
To really question why and how such an advanced colony disappeared in the first place historians needed to find the civilisation and upon that later figured out it’s advancements. A widely known monument of the Mayans called “Chichen Itza” is what led to the discovery of the the civilisation and their practices. The infrastructure has relevance to astrology and within itself helped historians consider Mayans an advanced civilisation furthermore causing confusion on why/how they
In the Early Post-Classic Period archaeologists can see where alliances and trade patterns existed with the two styles of Mazapan/Totlan, and Black-on-Orange Aztec I ceramics. The Mazapan/Totlan style is found in the Eastern and Northern Basin while the Black-on-Orange Aztec I ceramics are found in the southern Chalco-Xochimilco area, in the north-central Basin, and farther east (Nichols). The distribution of these styles and the fact that they generally are not found in the same areas suggests that they were exchanged in relation to ethnic and/or political ties. In the Middle Post-Classic Period ceramic exports from both the Texcoco, and Tenochtitlan regions increased. During this time Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics were produced in both the Texcoco and the Tenochtitlan regions. Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics from the Texcoco region are found at Cerro Portezuelo, while Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics from the Tenochtitlan region are found in Chalco and Xaltoca (Nichols). Both of these examples support historical data that both the Texcoco and the Tenochtitlan regions were spreading their political affiliations during that period of
I agree with your point, the conquerors had to be really impressed by the city grandeur. Event today we can visited Teotihuacan ('the place where the gods were created'), and appreciate the size and the beauty of the temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. The Aztecs were one of the most powerful cultures in the American continent at the time. As a Mexican, I’m proud of my culture and my ancestor’s heritage. I remember my study books for my primary school with lots of images of Aztec’s warriors and color pictures of different gods. The books use to have many transcripts from Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of the best observer and writer about the “new world”. Unfortunately, the spaniars did not tried to negociate
Even though Teotihuacan has made such a lasting impact on all those who marvel at its grandeur and scale over the past two thousand years, this site in still far from understood. There are many mysteries surrounding this area even after decades of excavations and research. Archaeologists and anthropologists alike struggle to gain a clearer picture of this great Mesoamerican city, although continuing work at the site has provided a wealth of information about the region, occupants, and lifestyles of those who were touched by it.
The ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan is located in the Mexican highlands about 30 miles to the north east of the modern day Mexico City. At its historical highest point between 400 and 600 A.D it had up to 200, 000 inhabitants as a religious center in the Mexican central highlands (Cartwright, 2015). The settlement began about 200 B.C around the same time when the basic layout of the city was completed. The founding inhabitants are thought to be the Totonac people. Further available anthropological evidence shows that some of the inhabitants such as Mixtec, Maya and Zapotec peoples were lured to settle in Teotihuacan following the civilization (Department of Arts of Africa).
Mayan culture existed a thousand years ago, in what is now part of Central America. Its ruins were almost entirely abandoned by 600 A.D, and were not rediscovered until the early 1500’s, by Spanish settlers. Mayan architecture astounded the early conquistadors, and continues to be of great interest to modern archeologists as well. These scientists have labeled a certain period of Mayan architectural history as the “Classic” period.