The Avenue of the Dead was the main street of Teotihuacan. It ran for more than 2.5 km, beginning at the Moon Plaza to the north and extending beyond the Ciudadela and the Great Compound complexes to the south. According to Millon (Cowgill 1992a:96; Millon 1981:221), the avenue continued even further south, terminating near the edge of the mountains that can be seen in the background of this photo.

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 planned city-layout suggests that the avenue may have been planned since its earliest phases of urbanization.

The main sector of the avenue was evidently the section between the Moon Pyramid and the Rio San Juan channel. This part of the avenue was lined with long talud-tablero platforms. Access to flanking residential zones was confined to masonry stairways with balustrades. The width of the avenue varies significantly between different sections, ranging from 40 to 95 meters. A large long channel under the floor of the avenue gathered rain water from neighboring architectural units and drained it into Rio San Juan.  http://archaeology.asu.edu/teo/intro/dead.htm

The earliest buildings at Teotihuacan date to about 200 BCE. The largest pyramid, the Pyramid of the Sun, was completed by 100 CE.

The Avenue of the Dead is truly a sight to behold! I have never made it down there but the pictures I have seen, the film footage I have viewed and the books I have read on the subject really sparked my interest.


But that is really on the subject of this post.

What strikes me about this incredible complex is the different and diffuse stories of the Aztecs and their relationship to this sacred city.

One thread has it that the Aztecs ‘show-up’ at Teotihuacan around 1325 AD. This nation or tribe is usually described as originating from somewhere in the SW United States.

The Aztecs were not just wandering nomads by the time they reach the Avenue of the Dead but rather a conquering army.

When they get to the Valley, nobody is there. The Aztecs are truly amazed and make Teotihuacan their home.

The Ancient Ones, the Unseen, the Gods must have created this place.

The Aztecs were certainly technologically advanced when they reached the Avenue, that is for sure and they began building their own monuments as soon as they reached central Mexico.

But I cannot help but consider the awe that these people felt as they viewed this sacred place for the first time. How eerie would it be to come to one of the truly great wonders of the world and find it totally abandoned?

There would be no frame of reference. I say this even though great pyramids and other structures had been erected by the Mayans; supposed around the time of Christ.

The Pyramid of the Sun has the same volume or area as the Great Pyramid of Giza and the bases of both are more or less equivalent in length and width.

There supposedly is a 2500 year difference in the age of the two pyramids; although I am not so sure about the estimate of their age of origin.

There are many experts who would put the date of origin of the Great Pyramid thousands of years before 2500 BC. And I am not referring to nuts who just tell us that ancient astronauts somehow constructed the great monument.

And I am not sure that the Avenue of the Dead is not a great deal older than mainstream archeologists estimate.

But we know the Aztecs did not build the Avenue and any records of the Aztec nation indicate that the area was abandoned at the time they discovered it.

And this epiphany; this first vision of the Avenue must have been like something right out of the Twilight Zone series.

They would have experienced the echo from their footsteps.

There is something about this first encounter that intrigues me.

Sixty years on this planet and I cannot think of a period in my life when I did not feel disassociation.

There was never a time when I did not wonder where all these buildings, all these roads, all these edifices; these gadgets came from as if I were not a part of it.

We really do not know who constructed the Avenue of the Dead. To say that the Toltecs built these monuments is just to say that the ancient ones built it or that the master builders built it.

We really do not know who constructed the Great Pyramid of Egypt. There are no writings inside the monument (forget the graffiti at the very top, anyone could have written that scribble).

The Navaho are honest about their home. The Navahos will tell you that they came to an area already built for human habitation and it was abandoned by the time they got there. They will tell you that their city was built by the Anastasi, the Ancient Ones.

The Navahos made their newly found situs their own just as the Aztecs made their discovery their own.

Cmauken writes about how Americans really do not understand how their computers work, they just have learned how to work them.

Hell, I could not manufacture a microwave. I have read many articles about microwaves. But I do not understand how they work; I only understand how best to heat up my soup.

How do I wrap this mess up?

I think there are new souls and old souls.

As I was growing up I would meet the ubermench. That is I would see a ten year old who would pitch a ball like they had been doing so for decades; surely an old soul.

I would see a fourteen year old read 1500 words a minute and grasp the content of what he was reading; surely an older soul.

I would come upon second grader who could create a drawing with a simple pencil and paper; something that I could never create half a century later. Surely this could not have been the first time she found herself upon this planet.

I look around at times and feel like the Aztec soldier coming upon the Avenue of the Dead for the first time.

Where in the hell did all this come from?

These are just a few links I reviewed while thinking about all of this.





15 thoughts on “WONDER

  1. Wow. A lot of things to think about, Dickon. I really like this post.

    Sort of on topic, sort of not…I got hooked into this Facebook game recently. CityVille. You start out with a small plot of land and some money and the ability to build homes and businesses. And you move up level after level and get access to more and more businesses and buildings and neighbors, etc.

    Sort of like playing God, I suppose. I’ve gotten so hooked on this game that I’m now on level 40 something and I’m expanding like crazy. But my main goal is to keep my population happy. I get very down if I see them frown. 🙂

    They made me mayor. I feel honored but scared.

  2. cmaukonen

    I was watching an episode of Secrets of The Dead on PBS about Herculaneum. A prosperous seaside town in Italy’s Bay of Naples on the side of Mt. Vesuvius that was buried when the Volcano erupted.

    This happened a while after the neighboring city of Pompeii was destroyed by the same eruption. And yet the people of Herculaneum did not have a clue what was going on.

    This can be easily accepted since the knowledge of volcanoes did not exist at that time.

    To get to the buried remains of Herculaneum the have to carefully tunnel under the current metropolis built on to of it.

    Yes people still live on the side of the volcano and as the narrator says, the believe it will not erupt in their life time.

    Human beings are more that a bit crazy. The will at the same time deny their own mortality and hope the will die before disaster strikes.

    Why do they still live there ? Because it is convenient and stuff grows real well on the sides of volcanoes. The same exact reason we insist on having nuclear reactors on earthquake fault lines.
    Because it is convenient and we don’t believe it will happen any time soon.

    1. Yeah, after what you showed me the other day, this was what I was looking for.

      The tech is so neat, like a cross between photography and film.

      Giving power to the viewer.

      Thank you!

    1. Oh, thank you Flower!

      I am in the middle of your linked essay right now1

      I love this stuff.

      That is why I continued in college to receive my Ba in Anthro.

      There are things above the heavens and beneath the earth that are undreamed of in your philosophy, as Socrates informs us through Plato.

      Thank you!!

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