Even the ferocious Aztec were awed by their ﬁrst glimpse of Teotihuacan. By the 13th century when the Aztec swept into central Mexico, the once teeming city—which reached its zenith around a.d. 400—had been long since abandoned by its mysterious builders. Its grand ceremonial center, where tens of thousands of people had gathered amid sacred monuments of stone, lay under thick green overgrowth. The Aztec gave the site its name and identiﬁed its most imposing features according to their own beliefs—the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Assuming that some of the buildings were tombs, they called the main thoroughfare Street of the Dead.
Published: October 2006
Pyramid of Death
At the Pyramid of the Moon in central Mexico, humans and animals were buried alive. Excavations reveal the remains of sacrifices once witnessed by thousands of spectators.
Photograph by Jesús Eduardo López Reyes