9 julio, 2024

10 contributions of Teotihuacan culture to humanity

Some contributions of the Teotihuacan culture The most outstanding are the game of the ball, architecture, gastronomy, fabrics and dresses or agricultural techniques.

The Teotihuacan culture is an important referent of the Mesoamerican pre-Columbian cultures that were present between the 1st century BC and the 8th century AD. The population settled in the current Valley of Mexico, between the municipalities of Teotihuacán and San Martín de las Pirámides.

The pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacán was declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 1987, with the reference that «this was the place where the gods were created».

The culture and architecture of Teotihuacán was influenced by the Olmec culture, considered the mother civilization of Mesoamerica. The first constructions of the Teotihuacanos date from 200 BC and the Pyramid of the Sun, which is the most representative and largest, was completed in the year 100 AD.

The Teotihuacanos lived from agriculture, from trading arrowheads and from donations from other towns.

The priest was the one who exercised political power, considering himself the highest hierarchical authority. Hence, the ornaments and objects found in the excavations are considered to be of great historical and religious value.

At present this region awakens a great tourist, historical and anthropological interest due to the ruins, monuments and great pyramids.

also faces at the moment pollution problems, deterioration of the pyramids and insecurity. The current groups in this area are the Nahuas and the Otomi.

For the modern world, the cultural and historical contributions of the Teotihuacans on architecture, innovative crops and their goldsmithing are very important.

Most representative contributions of Teotihuacanos

1. Myths

Studies by archaeologists suggest that the purpose of the pyramid of the feathered serpent is to represent heaven, earth and the underworld for the Teotihuacanos, and it was used for ceremonial acts to promote agricultural cycles.

The underworld, which is the place where the dead go, is represented by an underground tunnel that was used only for ceremonial acts.

Shiny metal inlays symbolizing the stars were also found on its walls, paintings of the origin of life, plants and animals were recreated on its walls.

Many of its religious elements would become part of the Aztec religion.

2. They invented the ball game

The Teotihuacanos devised a ball game, called tlachtliwhich consisted of inserting a ball, made of rubber, in a hoop, which was on the wall.

It was played between two teams made up of 7 players each, who were placed in the central part of the court, who threw passes with the ball without touching it with their hands, feet or head: they could only touch it with their shoulders, backs or hips to be able to insert it into the ring.

The players protected themselves from blows with cloth girdles.

3. Agriculture

The Teotihuacan settlers based their economy on agriculture, planting grains, fibers, and legumes. They created innovative drainage and irrigation systems, planted on terraces, built canals to make better use of water, and devised chinampas.

The chinampas were artificial islands built with trunks, branches and fertile soil, which were anchored to the bottom of the lake, and trees and plants were planted on them, generating a greater extension of the lake and more arable land.

4. Fabrics and dresses

The Teotihuacanos were skilled in weaving and used the fibers they extracted from the maguey or agave to make clothing. They also used other raw materials such as cotton, henequen and rabbit hair.

In addition, they used plants and fruits, such as the shell or kermes, to give an intense red color to the fibers, and they made suits, capes and headdresses adorned with colorful feathers, which were used mainly by the chiefs.

Teotihuacan society, remarkably stratified, marked the differences in social position with clothing and ornamentation.

5. Art and ceramics

Teotihuacan artisans were recognized in Mesoamerica because their pots, pots, plates, glasses, knives, and ceremonial masks stood out from those made by other cultures due to their color and decoration.

They used black volcanic glass and obsidian to make tools and work instruments.

6. The food

The Teotihuacanos included armadillo meat in their food, however, the main ingredients they used in the preparation of their dishes were beans, chili, corn, mote mushrooms and others such as tolonche, pinole, quelites, magueyes, capulines, axolotls, pulque , charales, huitlacoche and maguey worms.

One of the favorite foods of the Teotihuacans was the xoloitzcuintle, which is a hairless canine breed, which they prepared on the grill.

7. The toarchitecture

Teotihuacanos stood out for being great architects and engineers. It is not only seen in the magnitude of their constructions, in the geometric lines of the structures, in the drains and in the irrigation canals, but also in the different elements created or perfected by them.

8. The painting

One of the main characteristics of their art is colorful mural painting, fresco or tempera, although they also painted shells and ceramics. It was symbolic: for example, a flower represented beauty, a butterfly, fire, some footprints, the road.

9. Trade

Trade was based on agriculture. They traded with grain surpluses, which allowed them to acquire other goods.

10. The masonry

The greatest legacy of Mesoamerican architecture is the inclusion of masonry pillars that support the classic flat roof, which is still used in many regions of the Mexican highlands.


Teotihuacan. Recovered from teotihuacan.inah.gob.mx
Teotihuacan. Retrieved from unesco.org.

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