Thinking about Mexico’s Pre-Columbian past one might think about the enormous Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. In 1905, is when Mexico had their first official excavation. The nation’s icon has also helped mirror how the country itself has changed and developed over the years. The Pyramid of the Sun is one of the tallest structures in the Americas. Teotihuacan was one of the world’s biggest cities and it had an enormous impact for Mesoamerica for at least four centuries. Then somewhere around A. D this city-state collapsed in a violent end.
The Aztec or Mexica gave the site the name Teotihuacan: Place Where Men Become Gods. Between 1810 and 1821, Mexico went through a war of independence that finally allowed it to break free from Spain. Mexico was always being torn apart by factional wars and was then too preoccupied with survival to pay much attention to its ancient history. In 1905, Leopoldo Batres, was directly commissioned by the Diaz regime to carry out the country’s first government-sponsored archaeological project, specifically at the Pyramid of the Sun.
Batres over-restored the Pyramid of the Sun, but he has been charged with having used dynamite to expedite the clearing of fallen debris. In 1919, starting from the Pyramid of the Sun’s east side; an exploratory tunnel was cut deep into the pyramids center. The purpose of the tunnel was to learn more about the techniques of the pyramid’s construction. Thirteen years after the first tunnel, another deep tunnel was cut into the pyramid, this time staring at the building’s west side.
No treasures were found. It was built using a complex structure of stepped stone inner walls, most of the Pyramid of the Sun consists of compacted mud, reinforced with wooden poles and possibly built on an inward sloping firm base. Excavation at the Pyramid of the Sun ceased for several decades while some significant changes occurred in Mexico. In the 1960s, the government launched the Teotihuacan Project, which was responsible for clearing the Street of the Dead and the plazas of both the Pyramid of the
Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun. Archaeologists Jorge Acosta uncovered a four-chambered cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun (“The Origin of Life”). Physicists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico are taking a big step in the exploration of the Pyramid of the Sun by deploying sensors in its excavated tunnels that can detect muons, charged particles created by cosmic rays that can pass through rock. With this they will be able to detect any hidden chambers or other features in the enormous building.
Scholars have only begun to scratch the surface of the ancient history of Mesoamerica. The article that I chose to read this month was so informing. It had lots of old pictures. They told lots about the history around the Pyramid of the Sun and all of the things they have done. It had the map of where the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon and the Street of the Dead were. It was like they took me back into the history what went on during that time in. I really enjoyed reading this article.
When I go to Mexico during the summer going to the Pyramid of the Sun is like a tradition we have to go to the very top and take pictures. Something’s that still have me wondering is why do they call the street, “the Street of the Dead”? What things were they expecting to find when they cut open deep tunnels in the pyramid? Were kings buried inside them? Did they do Scarifies up at the very top? Why did they have two pyramids the Sun and the Moon? Those are some questions that I’m wondering about.