Teotihuacan, at its prime, was one of the largest cities on earth, filled with massive pyramids that rivaled the wonders of the Egyptian pharaohs—and everything about it is a mystery today. Little to nothing was written down to tell the story of Teotihuacan, but little hints in the ruins left behind have uncovered some of its past.
10. Nobody Knows Who Built It
When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in America and saw Teotihuacan for the first time, the Aztecs were living there. They had moved their people in and taken it as a part of their empire—but they didn’t build it. It had stood for 1,000 years before the Aztecs and 500 years before the Maya ever came to Mexico.
Nobody knows who built it. A group called the Toltects tried to take credit, but the city had been in Mexico for longer than they had, as well. Some of the archaeology, though, has left behind a few little hints of where it came from.
The city was started in 400 BC, built around a cave carved into the earth by a flow of lava. The people who found that cave seemed to have believed it was a holy spot. They set up a temple on top of it. Gradually, it seems, little settlements were built around it, added by pilgrims who came out to see the holy cave.