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Teotihuacán

Teotihuacán or Teotihuacan, or also Teo uacan is the name given to what was one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities in Mesoamerica. The place name is of Nahuatl origin and was used by the Mexicas to identify this city built by a civilization before them and that was already in ruins when the Mexicas saw it for the first time. To date the name given by its original inhabitants is unknown. The remains of the city are located northeast of the Valley of Mexico, in the municipalities of Teotihuacán and San Martín de las Pirámides, approximately 78 kilometers away from the center of Mexico City. The area of ​​archaeological monuments was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987.

The origins of Teotihuacán are still the object of research among specialists. Around the beginning of the Christian era, Teotihuacán was a village that became important as a center of worship in the Anáhuac basin. The first major constructions come from that time, as shown by the excavations in the Pyramid of the Moon. The apogee of the city took place during the Classic Period. At that stage, the city was an important commercial and political node that reached an area of ​​almost 21 km2, with a population of 100,000 to 200,000 inhabitants. The influence of Teotihuacán was felt in all directions of Mesoamerica, as shown by the discoveries in cities such as Tikal and Monte Alban, among other sites that had an important relationship with the Teotihuacan.

The decline of the city occurred in the seventh century, in a context marked by political instability, internal rebellions and climatic changes that caused a collapse in the North of Mesoamerica. Most of the population of the city was dispersed by diverse localities in the basin of Mexico. It is unknown what was the ethnic identity of the first inhabitants of Teotihuacán. Among the candidates are the Totonacs, the Nahuas and the Ottoman language peoples, particularly the Otomi. The most recent hypotheses suggest that Teotihuacán was a cosmopolitan city whose flowering involved groups of diverse ethnic origin, as shown by the discoveries in the Zapotec neighborhood of the city and the presence of objects from other regions of Mesoamerica, especially the Gulf region and the Mayan area. Teotihuacán has been of interest for societies after the decline of the Teotihuacan culture in Mesoamerica.

Its ruins have been explored since pre-Hispanic times, among others, by the Toltecs and the Mexicas. The discovery of Teotihuacan objects in the archaeological sites of Tula and the Templo Mayor de México-Tenochtitlan confirms this. In post-classical Nahua mythology, the city appears as the setting for fundamental myths such as the legend of the Suns of the Mexica. Currently, the remains of Teotihuacán constitute the area of ​​archaeological monuments with the largest influx of tourists in Mexico, above Chichen Itza, El Tajin and Monte Albán. The archaeological excavations in Teotihuacán continue to this day, and have resulted in a gradual increase in the quality and quantity of knowledge that is had about this city.