Teotihuacan - PowerPoint by SupremeLord

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Middle to Late Fromative/PreClassic   (500
              B.C.-300 A.D.)
            Basin of Mexico
          City of Teotihuacan
Middle to Late Formative (Pre-Classic)
500 B.C.-300 A.D.
 Considered one of the most outstanding
  periods of change.
 More complex socio-political society.
       Population increase
       Development of large concentrated centers.
       Increase in ceremonial and public works.
Basin of Mexico-
Geography and Ecology
   Location
       about 40 km northeast of Mexico City
       archaeological zone of about 200 hectares
   Teotihuacan Valley
       Valley of Mexico (8000 sq km)
       characterized by lake system
       small "sub-valley" defined by low ranges of hills
       500 sq km with altitude of over 2200 m
       overlooked by Cerro Gordo volcano (strategic location)
       passage to and from Valley of Mexico
            access to obsidian sources
            permanent springs
            rich, irrigable alluvial plain
            other resources
            salt from Lake Texcoco
            limestone to northwest
            clay for pottery
History of research at Teotihuacan
A.D. 1200-1950
   Early history
       name of the site means "abode of the gods" in Nahuatl
       real name of site and culture is unknown
       Aztecs believed site had been built by a race of giants
   Bones of mammoths found nearby
       Tepexpan man found in 1947
       two imperial mammoths found in 1952-54 near Santa
        Isabel Iztapán
   Leopoldo Batres
        began work at site in 1905
       under pressure to restore Pyramid of the Sun for
        centenary of Mexican independence in 1910
       restoration has five intermediary platforms
History of research con’d
   Mexican Revolution
       1910, Porfirio Díaz lost election to Francisco Madero
       refused to leave and became object of popular rebellion
       after revolution, archaeology became an integral part of public
       new nationalism and pride for things Indian
       Teotihuacan became a national symbol
   Manuel Gamio
       major explorations of site in 1917
       restored Temple of Quetzalcoatl and Citadel
   Sigvald Linnc
       Swedish archaeologist
       excavated at site from 1932-1935
       unearthed first palace residences
       found conglomeration of 175 rooms around network of corridors
        encompassing 4000 sq yds
       interpreted two large houses as shelter for pilgrims f>
        responsible for revealing urban nature of site
Later Investigations
   Laurette Sjourn
       French-born Mexican archaeologist
       excavated at site from 1955-1957
       found Palace of Zacuala under bean field
            covered 5000 sq yds
            lavish murals with iconography ancestral to later works
       interpreted site as cradle of Nahuatl civilization
   Ignacio Bernal
       Mexican archaeologist
       directed National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH)
        excavations from 1960-1964
       restoration campaign made possible by President Adolfo L¢pez
       also opened National Museum of Anthropology in 1964
            site intensively excavated in 1962-1964
            Avenue of the Dead cleared of debris
            plaza in front of Pyramid of the Moon cleared and refurbished
            highway built for access to the site (opened 1964)
Later Investigations con’d
   Ren Millon
       University of Rochester
       made exploratory survey in region north of Pyramid of the Moon
        in 1957
       found major extension of building zone
       noted large mounds arranged in plazas
       concluded site had been a major city
       mapping project
            mapped 8 sq mi (20 sq km)
            identified over 500 craft workshops, more than 200 ceramic
             workshops, stoneworking, shell, and figurine loci
            located 2600 major structures over 8 sq mi
   William Sanders
       Pennsylvania State University
       undertook ecological study concurrent with mapping project
       worked together with Jeffrey Parsons, Richard Blanton, and
       found evidence of terracing and irrigation
       argued Teotihuacan was "a true city"
   Founding of the City
       Valley settled as early as 900 B.C., but no large
        settlement until 300 B.C.
       Populated by people from mountains to the east
   Several reasons for population move:
       caves which are related to religion and mythology.
            humans, sun and moon came from center of the earth.
            entrance to the Underworld.
            network of caves and tunnels under the Pyramids of the
             sun and the moon.
       close obsidian resources.
       nearby springs for irrigation.
   Site layout
       precise gridwork pattern
   General construction techniques
       Lime plaster
            technique for burning limestone probably introduced from
             Yucatan and Guatemala
            burning probably contributed to drying of climate
            creation of plaster may have led to ecological disaster
   Cerro Gordo
       Stephen Tobriner found passage in 1580 report to Philip II
        which is earliest Western reference to Teotihuacan
       mentions noise of water in large mountain (Cerro Gordo)
       noted that Cerro Gordo, a volcano, had a thin vertical shaft
        that emitted air and the noise of water traveling
       conjectured that Teotihuacanos believed mountain was the
        source of water
Talud-Tablero Construction
 Sloping component called talus
 Cantilevered vertical panel, tablero,
  framed by rectangular moldings
 Effect is that of a box hung on a pyramid
 Talus shadowed by tablero
 Tablero appears to float on cushion of
 Form is unstable, with tendency to
Teotihuacan-The Citadel
The Citadel, or Ciudadela with the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in the
center. http://www.ancientmexico.com/content/map/teot-citadel.html
Temple of Quetzalcoatl
   Chronology
       construction of type dating prior to AD 300
       sculptured facade revealed beneath later
       reconstructed between 1917-1920
   Construction
       core made of piers built of slabs
       shafts in between filled with dirt
       more rapid filling out of final shape with earth
Temple of Quezalcoatl
137 people buried there were apparently
 sacrificed, their hands tied behind their
 backs, during the construction of the
 Many wore collars composed of imitation
 human maxillae with teeth carved from
 shell, as well as several real maxillae and
 mandibles, and were deposited in the pits
 with more than 2,100 pieces of worked
 shell and numerous obsidian blades and

Bird-Butterfly (QuetzalpapÝlotl) Palace
   Discovered in 1962 by Mexicans directed by Jorge
    Acosta chronology
       one of latest buildings at site
       roof had collapsed, beams burnt, suggesting disaster
   Construction
       enclosed courtyard, resembling medieval cloister
       may represent habitation of warrior society
       richly decorated rooms with stucco floors
       roofs once supported by small wooden beams 5" in
   Artwork
       reliefs represent owl of warfare and quetzal
Temple of Quetzalcoatl

The Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent in the Cuidadela. The temple has
a talud /tablero design incorporated on the facade.
The Serpent and Tlaloc reliefs on the Temple surface

                                                      of Tlaloc god
                                                      to Jaguar in
                                                      Olmec art

Tlaloc-God of Rain
Pyramid of the Sun
   Chronology
       largest and oldest construction at site
       sherds and figurines in fill are of Late Formative dates
       this and a few adjoining platforms were sole
        monumental architecture at site for several centuries
   Form
       61 meters tall
       one of tallest and largest in North America until 20th
       broad staircase focus of building
            single flight divides into two and then merges again
       may have functioned as backdrop for rituals and public
       attendants going up stairs would have vanished and
Pyramid of the Sun
   Construction
       probably had perishable superstructure
       made of horizontal layers of clay faced with unshaped stones
       Batres' reconstruction criticized, but 19th century paintings show
        five distinct levels
   Cave
       discovered by Jorge Acosta during installation of Light and Sound
        equipment in 1971
       near center of pyramid
       ceramics indicate use from Late Formative through Classic
       chamber with layout resembling four-leaf clover
       Later Aztecs claimed to have come from "Chicomoztoc" or Seven
       chambers may have been revered by Aztecs
   Orientation
       east faces 1530' north of west
       sun sets on axis with building on day of zenith passage (June 21)
       pyramid faces the setting sun
       governs axial arrangement of other buildings at site
Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Sun viewed from the north. This massive structure
is the largest pyramid in Mesoamerica and is more massive than the
Great Pyramid in Egypt.
Avenue or Way of the Dead
   Known as "Miccaotli" to Aztecs
   Orientation
       runs north-south
       oriented 1525' east of north
       complimented by secondary axis, East and West Avenues which
        together, divide city into quadrants
   Size
       130 ft wide
       about a mile and a half long
   Construction
       changes elevation up and down stairs at several points
       commands attention as architectural form in its own right
       lined on both sides by more than 75 temples and small platforms
       only partially reconstructed
   Chronology
       at least two older layers of construction beneath present platforms
       roadway connected nothing
       afforded axial order, without leading from one place to another
Avenue of the Dead
Detail of Paradise of Tlaloc at the
Palace of Tepantitla
The miniture temple in the center of Atetelco Plaza.
Temple of the Quetzal Butterfly
Courtyard of the Temple of the
Quetzal Butterfly
Façade of Temple of Quetzalcoatl
Mural from the Palace of Tepantitla
Pyramid of the Moon
   Chronology
       built after Pyramid of the Sun
       construction of type used before AD 300
   Construction
       core made of piers built of slabs
       shafts in between filled with dirt
       more rapid filling out of final shape with earth
Pyramid of the Moon
The Pyramid of The Moon viewed from the south. This temple is
the second largest structure at the site.
Tomb in Pyramid of the Moon
 The grave, which dates to about A.D. 150,
  is associated with pyramid's fourth
  construction phase. Seen today is the fifth
  and last, built ca. A.D. 250.
 The remains may be that of a royal
  retainer and a royal tomb may be at the
  center of the pyramid, but excavation is
  difficult because it involves tunneling into
  the pyramid.

Artifacts in tomb

     Greenstone figure

Bird & and animal remains

 The remains of eight hawks or falcons, including this one, were
 found in the tomb along with the bones of two jaguars.
Water Goddess
Painter’s Palatte
Small Clay heads from Molds
Polychrome Bowl
Polychrome Ceremonial Vessel
Funerary Mask of Turquoise and
Residential compounds
   more than 2000 discovered through site mapping
   identified as apartment complexes by Millon
       probably housed 60-100 people in different households
       may represent cognatic kin groups
       may have favored rapid expansion of craft economy
       one-story structures, surrounded by high stone walls
   Construction
       common size was 50-60 meters square
       planned and built in single operation
       patios had drains to carry off excess rainwater
       networks of drains carried water into streets
       often stone-lined, indications of prior planning and construction
       surfaced with concrete lacking lime
       interior walls and floors surfaced with plaster
       interiors divided into rooms, patios, and passageways
       divided by stone or adobe walls
       each compound has one or more temple platforms
       kitchen floors identified
Population size
   Population size
       estimated by Millon at 125,000
       may have reached 200,000 at maximum
       was sixth largest city in the world in AD 600
 During the period from 600-900 A.D.
 Site not abandoned, but population
 Some buildings burned between 600-700
       may be symbolic as in the case of the Olmec
        destroying heads, associated with the loss of
       Empty by the time the Aztecs come around 3
        centuries later.

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