Thursday, September 1, 2011

Top 50 Places I Want To Visit #47: Teotihuacan, Mexico

When most people think if Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is usually not pyramids. Probably tacos. But definitely not pyramids. Well, you'll find a lot more than tacos in Mexico. And in that non-taco category falls Teotihuacan.

Teotihuacan, according to archeologists, was established around 100 BCE and, at its peak, was the largest city in pre-columbian America. The origins of the city remain mostly a mystery, as does its purpose and political significance in Central America.

Despite lack of information, it has been determined that Teotihuacán had far-reaching influence in Nahuatyl, Aztec, and Mayan civilizations. Some historians believe that Teotihuacan had sent inhabitants to conquer regions reaching all the way into Honduras.

After 450 CE, the city began its decline. Archeological evidence shows that an internal uprising led to the burning of most of the city.

What amazes me most about this place is the intricate architecture and city structure that was constructed using such primitive technology. Recent discoveries show that a system of tunnels and caves under the Pyramid of the Sun is entirely man-made.

I almost was able to include this in my gap year travels, but had to cut the country of Mexico out because of safety regions. Still, this is a place I definitely want to visit.

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