When the Christian era began across the Mediterranean, great things were happening in faraway Mexico. An advanced civilization based on priestly cult was busy in developing the ancient city of Teothuacan, which is about 25 miles outside the present-day Mexico City.
Not much is known about the builders of that mysterious city but the two towering pyramids and some temples and palaces that they had built are truly awesome.
The City of Mexican Pyramids
The taller, larger and older pyramid we now know as the Pyramid of the Sun was completed in the 2nd century AD. The smaller and younger pyramid is known as the Pyramid of the Moon.
These names, however, were not given by their builders but the Aztec people who built the Mexico City. After discovering the ruined and abandoned city they adopted it as a pilgrimage center.
History of the Pyramid of the Sun
This mammoth five-tiered Pyramid was constructed in two phases that might have taken several decades to complete. When it was finally completed it measured 246 feet high and 738 feet across that made it the world’s third largest pyramid, being slightly smaller and much older Egyptian Pyramid at Giza and considerably smaller than Mexico’s own Great Pyramid of Cholula which was probably built in the 3rd century BC but now looks like a grassy hill with a Christian church built on top of it.
Photo Credit: Famouswonders.com
Mexico did have a tradition of constructing pyramids like the Egyptians but in those ancient times they were totally ignorant about each others existence.
Builders Of the Pyramid
It is widely believed that on top the Pyramid there was a temple dedicated to a deity whom the people venerated in those ancient times. But it was destroyed many centuries ago either in a natural calamity or by non-believers. It thus deprived us from identifying the builders of this magnificent Pyramid.
The Pyramid Building
The builders had to transport million of tons of stone, brick and rubble without having the advantages of wheels, beasts or metal tools for building this massive edifice over a cave that once held a natural spring.
During excavations in early 1970s a cave shaped like a tunnel was discovered under the Pyramid. It ended in small chambers piled with charcoal, indicating religious rituals involving water and fire.
Beneath the Pyramid are indications of earlier structures which, if excavated, might throw some light about this mysterious structure and about the people who had built it.
The Pyramid’s Original Splendor
When the Pyramid was originally built it was finished with lime plaster with brilliantly colored murals painted on it that glowed under the blazing Mexican sun. None of those are visible now, leaving it simply stone-colored.
A View From the Pyramid
Make an effort to climb the 248 steps to reach the Pyramid’s top and have a look at the two-mile long Avenue of the Dead lined with ancient temples and palaces ending at the Pyramid of the Moon. Look far beyond and marvel at the breathtaking views of the massive Gerro Gordo Mountains.
Striking Facts about the Pyramid of The Sun
One fact about the Pyramid of the Sun that astounds us all is the precision of building its opening which points directly at the setting sun on the days of the equinox – 19 May and 25 July every year.
The other fact is that unlike Egyptian pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun isn’t a necropolis; it’s a temple pyramid.