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THE PYRAMIDS OF TEOTIHUACAN Teotihuacan is situated in the central section of the Valley of Teotihuacan The valley is in the northeastern part of the Basin of Mexico a plateau over 2000 meters high with a temperate semiarid climate The later Aztec capital Tenochtitlan grew up about 700 years after the collapse of Teotihuacan 60-km southwest on an island in the shallow lakes that spread in the Basin at that time The Spaniards destroyed Tenochtitlan in the 16 th century Teotihuacan arose as a new religious center in the Mexican Highland around the time of Christ The next two centuries were characterized by monumental construction during which Teotihuacan quickly became the largest and most populous urban center in the New World By this time the city already appears to have expanded to approximately 20 square km with about 60000 to 80000 inhabitants The development of the city seems to have involved inter-site population movements exploitation of natural resources an increase in agricultural production technological inventions establishment of trading systems and other kinds of socio-political organizations and attractive belief systemsThe city was dominated by three enormous pyramids called Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon and the Feathered Serpent Pyramid The Avenue of the Dead was the main street of Teotihuacan The name stems from an early rumor that this was where the Teotihuacanos buried their kings While most scholars have discarded this idea due to the lack of burials others note the possibility that mummy bundles of ancestors once lined the Avenue of the Dead It ran for more than 25 km beginning at the Moon Plaza to the north and extending beyond the Ciudadela and the Great Compound complexes to the south The avenue divided the city into two sections Apartment compounds with pyramidal constructions were arranged on both sides of the avenue often symmetrically and sharing the same orientation This highly
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