almenas were decorative features that lined the cornices of buildings. They often contained symbolic elements, such as these water droplets. Water was crucial to all aspects of pre-hispanic life, especially for growing the staple food, maiz (corn). The Northwest San Juan Complex appears to have been the site of festivities relating to the rain or storm god Tlaloc and other deities related to agriculture.
painted, with red being one of the most popular colors. The red paint most often used was specular hematite, which includes tiny particles of mica to add a muted sparkle. Sometimes the walls were covered with murals containing religious themes. Archeologists believe that the Northwest Complex was built between 150-200 AD, during the Miccaotli Phase when the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon were being constructed.
Maya presence within the city itself. The purpose of this sculpture is not clear, but it may have been used as a censer to burn copal incense.
talud y tablero, seen on the sides of the platform above. This style was expressed as a vertical, recessed, rectangular space (the tablero), paired with a sloping wall below (the talud). You will find these features everywhere in Teohuacán. They can also be found in every place where Teotihuacán's influence reached, even as far away as the ancient city of Tikal in northern Guatemala. The pyramidal structure seen in the upper left, in the distance, is the south side of the Pyramid of the Sun.
mass-produced in a Teotihuacán workshop by artisans using a mold. Little clay faces like this were manufactured and sold to be used as ritual offerings.
sophisticated system of channels and drains to capture and channel rain runoff. The cistern may have been kept full in this way. Clay water pots, like the one seen previously, would have been filled here to supply the residents living in the immediate area. The remains of two columns stand in front of the room on the left. These appear to have supported a roof which once shaded a small terrace overlooking the water pool.
Small ceramic pot used for offerings. The pot has been dated to the period between 250-450 AD, called the Tlamimiolpa Phase. During this time, the Citadel was constructed and Teotihuacán expanded its influence throughout Mesoamerica, both by peaceful trade and conquest.
The ball game could be rough, particularly if a player was hit in an unprotected part of his body by the heavy, hard-rubber ball. Injuries were common and death not unknown. The player's waist and hips are protected by heavy leather, as are his lower legs. Mysteriously, no ball courts have ever been found at Teotihuacán, unlike virtually every other important Mesoamerican city. Objects like this statue have been found, however, as well as stone markers for the ball game and other items related to it. It strikes me that Plaza B would be an excellent location for games. Its size would allow considerable range for the players and the temples and staircases that surround it would be perfect seats for spectators.
The West Plaza
burial of a family member who died from disease or accident. Burials like this were common practice. It was also common to take the bones of family members and shape them into buttons, combs, spatulas, and many other small tools, all for daily use. Special tools were used to deflesh the relative's body soon after death, before the bones became too brittle. While all this seems macabre and even disrespectful to modern sensibilities, these practices appear to have been a way to maintain a connection with those who had passed into the afterlife.
posting on the Citadel for more on this.
This concludes my posting. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting. If so, please leave any questions or thoughts in the Comments section below, or email me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim