Teotihuacan and Cholula: The History of the Most Important Mesoamerican Cities of the Preclassic Era, Charles River Editors
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Teotihuacan and Cholula: The History of the Most Important Mesoamerican Cities of the Preclassic Era

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Michelle Humphries

Unabridged: 2 hr 42 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 03/18/2023

Genre: History - Native American

Synopsis

Although Teotihuacan reached the height of its power and influence about 1500 years ago, the city is still an endless topic of fascination and debate, in addition to being Mexico’s most toured archaeological site. The origins of the city remain mysterious (as do the city’s founders), and scholars are still coming up with theories to explain the city’s demise. All the while, later Mesoamerican civilizations remembered Teotihuacan, and the Aztec even considered the city’s ruins a site of worship.

Cholula is one of the most interesting, enigmatic, and forgotten cities in ancient Mesoamerica, and few people are aware that it is the oldest continuously-occupied settlement in the entire Western hemisphere. The current city is known for the Great Pyramid, which has the largest base of all pyramids in the world, as well as its many colonial churches and constant religious celebrations. All of these things ensure that Cholula is heavily visited, but the tremendous importance of Prehispanic Cholula has mostly been lost in the historical accounts of Puebla and even Mexico as a whole.

During the height of Teotihuacan’s influence in the Classic period and the expansion of the Aztecs in the Postclassic, Cholula managed to maintain its independence and grew to become the greatest religious center in central Mesoamerica. As the main site for the cult of the god Quetzalcoatl, Cholula received pilgrims from many Prehispanic cities, and the two high priests of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl were charged with confirming the legitimacy of these foreign rulers, making their role one of the most important in the region. Most sources note that Cholula was a great religious center with a large pyramid, and that it was the site of a terrible massacre perpetrated by the Spanish, but other than that those details, the impressive city remains mostly unknown. 

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