Tetitla

Located 500 meters west of the Avenue of the Dead is Palacio de Tetitla. Tetitla is one of the numerous housing complexes located around the ceremonial center of Teotihuacan. Tetitla was inhibited from 350 to 550 C.E, and housed between 20 and 100 individuals. In its earliest stage, this complex consisted of two independent groups, which over time spread out until they merged into the single site that exists today.

The nature of its material composition and the colossal exertion visible in its erection demonstrate part of the moderately high welfare of the urban populace. From the street, it was practically extremely difficult and near impossible to determine what was going on inside the apartment complexes, because they were delimited by high walls in slope, lacking windows and characterized by narrow entrances. Each department is made out of rooms placed around porticoed patios that permitted the passage of light, water gathering, and ventilation. It had its own areas of stay and rest, preparation and consumption of food, storage of raw materials and nourishment, work, worship, burial, and even waste. The greater part of rooms inside Palacio de Tetitla are intricately painted, its murals depicting diverse subjects identified with the universe and religion in antiquated Teotihuacan. There were, in addition, areas shared by all departments of the residents, for the most part connected through common ritual practices. These common areas were comprised of large courtyards with central altars and pyramidal temples.

The apartment compound was excavated from 1963 to 1964 by Laurette Sejourne. The Teotihuacan apartment buildings are unique when compared to other apartment complexes found in the Roman and Ottoman Empire times. First, they are single-story structures, and second, every family had a considerable amount of space, including a courtyard and several rooms with patios facing the courtyard. These apartments do not look like rushed buildings to accommodate an influx of new urbanites like many other buildings did. In fact, they are spacious and open dwellings. When Sejourne excavated one of the first apartment compounds at Teotihuacan, at first she thought she had uncovered a palace. In comparison with other ancient Mesoamerican patterns of housing, these structures do clearly look like elite houses. Commoners, at other Mesoamerican cities, tended to live in small single-family houses.

Video

Rooms of Tetitla
An archaeologist who works at the site gives an brief lecture on the structure and design of the rooms.
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