Teotihuacan Essay Research Paper TeotihuacanThe ancient world

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Teotihuacan Essay, Research Paper Teotihuacan The ancient world of Mesoamerica entered a long period of change that soon led to the development a mammoth city that would serve as a regional center for more than 600 years. Beginning in about 1000 B.C. the majority of the people in the Valley of Mexico relocated to one of two primary sites, that of Cuicuilco in the southwest corner and Teotihuacan in the northeast. By about 300 B.C., Cuicuilco dominated the region, but its heyday would soon diminish. (Sabloff 2000, p 60) For the next two hundred years the dominion would begin to shift towards the side of Teotihuacan, a city that would undergo rapid growth never seen before on such a large scale. This was in part due to final demise of Cuicuilco influence from the eruption of

Xitli in 50B.C. (Weaver 1981, p 104) This smothered their fields and soon thereafter swallowed the entire site. This was catastrophic because it destroyed their means of survival by wiping out agricultural land, which not only served as a source of subsistence but also as an economic base. Eventually the entire city was covered over, thus ending its years of prestige and aiding the development of its major rival. (Sabloff 2000, p 61) This event transformed Teotihuacan into the central city of the region, and soon masses began to flood in. Within a very short period the population was believed to consist of between 80-90% of the total population of the Valley of Mexico. This fluxuated but by the time of Christ, many were moving into the area again and soon began the construction

of this great city. (Weaver 1981, p 189) The reasons for this immigration are unknown but surveys have proven that the city was populated as the countryside was depopulated. This resettlement policy, whether forced or ‘encouraged’, soon provided the state with enough manpower to bring this center into it excellence. This let the state relocate some of the residents onto the most productive agricultural lands to provide a subsistence base for the community. (Sabloff 1981, p 221) The political advantage of this widespread influence if quite apparent. This would permit the state to have direct control over the urban population as well as those it chose to send out to work in best agricultural lands. Also, most important, this control minimized the threats to the state by

eliminating any other strong centers that may rise up against it. These both helped to secure the continuation of their rapid development into a site with no contemporaneous equal, and also one that would be remembered and admired through the present day. (Sabloff 1981, p222) 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 location of this great metropolis is a subvalley of the Valley of Mexico. In its northwestern region, the area it occupies is considered to be a highly strategic because it controls access to the valley. This proved to be quite beneficial for aiding and accelerating the development of the Teotihuacan culture. The valley of Mexico is home to obsidian sources, permanent springs, lake systems, irrigable agricultural lands, deposits of salt and limestone, the later was extremely important for construction of the majority of the structures found at this site. Beginning in the early 1960’s, the Mexican government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) launched an excavation project along the “Street of the Dead”. Their labors were