A Quick Guide to Mexican Aztec Pyramids’ History
The Aztecs were a civilization that marked Mexican culture in too many aspects.
Do you want to know more about them?
Want to know more about the history of the impressive Mexican Aztec Pyramids?
Who built the pyramids in Mexico?
Do you want to know the most famous Aztec pyramids and places to see them?
Looking for some curious facts about Aztec architecture?
Stay with us, learn and discover some fantastic spots to see these ancient masterpieces. ▲☀️
The Aztec Civilization
The Aztecs were people from northern Mexico who settled on Texcoco Lake, in the Valley of Mexico, around 1325. After they were known as The Mexica, who founded their capital “Mexico-Tenochtitlan” 400 years after the Mayan splendor.
Outside the social scale were the slaves, who were mostly prisoners of war. They sacrificed people, often prisoners captured in war.
The Mexican Aztec Pyramids
These Aztec pyramids are built in steps, something that the Egyptians did not do. Therefore, the Aztec ones are more similar to the Mesopotamian ones. As we know, the Aztecs were polytheists, they worshiped many gods, each with a specific function.
Certainly, the Aztecs built some of the most magnificent pyramids from the 14th to the 16th century. These pyramids were religiously motivated and on top of them, they created their temples. To clarify, the temples were built to facilitate the Aztec religion. Building pyramid temples was an architectural duty for the Aztecs, due to their religious importance.
Nowadays, some Aztec ruins are still untouched, that is one of the most incredible things about their temples.
These pyramids had not only religious meanings but also government reasons. Aztec society had several class categories: first the king, then the priests, warriors, and nobles; below the merchants, and finally the workers. Outside the social scale were the slaves, who were mostly prisoners of war. They sacrificed people, often prisoners captured in war, at the top of the pyramids. This ritual has become one of the most famous parts of Aztec history.
Who Built the Pyramids in Mexico?
Mexico is a country that has archaeological zones as impressive as the ones in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Italy. Nevertheless, Mexican pyramids and their surroundings convey a mystical atmosphere that you have to experience at least once in a lifetime.
Most of the pyramids that are in Mexico, were built by Mesoamerican Ancient Civilizations such as the Toltecs, the Tarascan, the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Totonac.
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In the case of the most famous pyramids in Teotihuacan such as the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon, a civilization that lived in Teotihuacan in 1-150 AD, constructed them (according to some historians). Certainly, it is still unknown who built them, but currently, the Aztecs have the title of ‘creators’ of these masterpieces.
Mexico is a place of legends and mysteries that make every part of its history full of mysticism and tradition. Check out our post: Top 10 Reasons to Go to Mexico for Vacation.
Without further ado, let’s go to some of the most important Mexican Aztec Pyramids you should know!
El Tepozteco is a National Protected Area, here you can find the remains of an authentic Mexican Aztec Pyramid. Sadly, due to different earthquakes that occurred on September 2017, it has extreme damage that forced it to close its doors.
The Tepozteco Pyramid shows spellings linked to many firmaments in pre-Hispanic cultures. In one of its stones, you will see engraved the name of Ahuizotl, the Aztec emperor who reigned between 1486 and 1502. The number of steps was related to its cosmogony. The 13 heavens of the Mesoamerican universe and the 13 days of the Tonalpohualli Calendar.
Nowadays, the surroundings of this place have become excellent places to discover Mexican culture in the magical town of Tepoztlan, meditate, practice yoga, and perform ceremonies. Additionally, some people say that they feel different energies at the top of the Pyramid of Tepozteco.
Xochicalco is an archaeological site located in the state of Morelos, where you can find Mexican Aztec pyramids. Moreover, since 1999 it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its name comes from Nahuatl and means: Place of the House of Flowers. It is located just 38 km southwest of the tropical city of Cuernavaca. Above all, it was the most important population, and perhaps the most powerful, in the Central Highlands.
Xochicalco is most famous for the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpents. However, this emblematic construction includes an obvious Teotihuacan and Mayan influence with its fine stylized representations. Therefore, it is believed that Xochicalco must have had a community of artists from other parts of Mesoamerica. The Feathered Serpent was an elite divinity as its representations and sanctuaries were located in the upper part of the city.
Furthermore, it is worth visiting the Temple of the Stelae. Here, archaeologists discovered tombstones related to Quetzalcoatl.
This site houses a circular pyramid partially buried due to a volcanic eruption. As in the case of Teotihuacan, its origins date back to 800 BC.
Among the main Mexican Aztec Pyramids are the ruins of the Pyramid of Cuicuilco, located in the center of the hill. It has 5 levels, it is 59,6 ft high. Also, in the pyramid, there were religious ceremonies.
Even many locals, do not know many things about this place. Nevertheless, it is one of the most emblematic places to begin to understand what were the wonderful Aztec culture and its enormous legacy that continues in different parts of Mexico City.
Indeed, here you can find the most popular “Mexican Aztec Pyramids”, as this is one of the largest archaeological complexes in Mexico. It is estimated that it arose before 500 BC. but it was the Aztecs who reached their maximum splendor and founded Tenochtitlan.
The pyramid of the Sun represents the Axis-Mundi, the point where heaven and earth connect. It has 20 floors and a total height of 213 meters. On the other hand, The Pyramid of the moon was the house of the god of storms.
The Pyramid of the Moon is about 45 meters on each side and 45 meters high. Although it is smaller than the Sun one, it is on high ground, therefore, the result is the same height.
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Mexican Aztec Pyramids Architecture
Talking about their architecture is talking about the Mexican Aztec Pyramids, a fundamental part of their heritage and legacy. Uniquely, the Aztec architecture development was based on the interests of the State, fulfilling a political-religious function.
One of the characteristics of Aztec architecture is its marked sense of order and symmetry, similar to other cultures. Aztec ruins were definitely an art expression for ancient Mexican ancestors.
The best way to describe Aztec architecture is as monumental. Its purpose was to manifest power and at the same time adhere to strong religious beliefs. This is evident in the design of its temples, shrines, palaces, and houses.
Strong infrastructure and resources were an important part of the Aztecs. All of this was in order to build large buildings that met the needs of their inhabitants.
One of the greatest architectural examples is Tenochtitlan, what we know today as Mexico City. Tenochtitlan was a synonym for Aztec power and was home to some of their main temples.
As the Aztecs didn’t build all of these archeological zones, they certainly had a huge influence on them.
Check out our tour: Mexico City to Teotihuacan Private Tour
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