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The Mesoamerican site of Teotihuacan is visible in this Pleiades image, acquired on 25 February 2013.

Teotihuacan was an ancient city in Mexico, and archaeologists believe it was founded circa 100 B.C.E. No one knows who built the city, however. While later civilisations, such as the Aztecs, claimed to have built it or claimed close association with it, these civilisations did not exist until centuries after the city was built.

The city was abandoned by the time the Aztecs named it Teotihuacan, and they regarded the ruins as a holy site, important to their gods. The unnamed culture that built Teotihuacan, dubbed the "Teotihaucano's", had great influence over Mesoamerica. Archaeologists have found items and architecture from many cultures that was either from the Teotihuacano civilisation or inspired by it.

In the centuries after the city's founding, it had a population at its peak of 125,000, making it the largest city in the America's at the time, and one of the largest in the world. The Teotihuacano civilisation ended circa 550 C.E. when the city was burnt and left in ruins. It's unknown why this occurred, archaeologists can only speculate that it was either the result of an internal revolution or external invasion. But parts of this ancient city endure today, and the site is visible in the centre of this image, with two pyramids connected by the Avenue of the Dead.

Surrounding the archaeological site is the modern Mexican town of San Juan Teotihuacan.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: CNES 2013 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space / Spot Image S.A. France, all rights reserved


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