Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire—A Pictorial illustrates about thirty of the new discoveries found at the three main pyramids at the ancient metropolis of Teotihuacan—the Sun Pyramid, the Moon Pyramid, and, at the center of the Ciudadela complex, the Feathered Serpent Pyramid—which have fundamentally changed our understanding of the city’s history.
Founded in the first century BCE near a set of natural springs in an otherwise dry northeastern corner of the Valley of Mexico, the metropolis was on a symbolic level a city of elements. With a multiethnic population of perhaps one hundred thousand, at its peak in 400 CE, it was the cultural, political, economic, and religious center of ancient Mesoamerica. A devastating fire in the city center led to a rapid decline after the middle of the sixth century, but Teotihuacan was never completely abandoned or forgotten; the Aztecs revered the city and its monuments, giving many of them the names we still use today.
This publication was issued on the occasion of the exhibition Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire at the de Young Arts Museum, San Francisco, and City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from March 25 through September 3, 2018.