Pyramid of the Moon

The Pyramid of the Moon is located in the ancient city of Teotihuacan some thirty miles northeast of Mexico City. Although smaller than the site's famous Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon predates it. According to A.R. Williams, the Pyramid of the Moon was begun around 100 C.E. and went through seven stages of construction. "Three stages (4, 5, and 6), dating from about 200 to 350, were dedicated with gruesome sacrifices."

The Pyramid of the Moon sits at the western end of the Avenue of the Dead and mimics the outline of the mountain Cerro Gordo, just north of the site. The Pyramid is believed to have been used as a ritual temple built to worship the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan who served as a deity of water, fertility, and creation.

The Avenue of the Dead being the first thing spectators see runs straight through the city and ends at the Pyramid of the Moon. This gives you the impression that to the Pyramid being used as path to the underworld. With the discoveries of tunnels existing underneath Teotihuacan, and the Pyramid of the Moon this has brought a great connect to each of the structures at Teotihuacan. Throughout, the excavations of these tunnels archeologist believe that the Pyramid of the Moon has undergone somewhere near seven stages of construction during the lifespan of Teotihuacan’s rule. Many artifacts like mosaic figurines and green jade artifacts; along with, obsidian daggers and cutting tools meant for ritual sacrifice have been found under the Pyramid of the Moon. Many of these artifacts have provided archeologist with an insight into the ancient Teotihuacan’s, and the different functions of the pyramid.

Furthermore, the Pyramid of the Moon has provided archeologist with insight to the function of the Pyramid and how people living in this great city used the Pyramid. It was discovered the Pyramid of the Moon of used as a ritual temple for sacrificial burial. “Discovered by Arizona State University archaeologist Sabum Sugiyama, the skeleton, thought to be of a man who had been bound and sacrificed, was surrounded by more than 150 offerings, including obsidian and greenstone figurines, obsidian blades, pyrite mirrors, conch shells, and the remains of several hawks or falcons and at least two jaguars, one of which may have been buried alive." This has given better insight for archaeologist for understanding the ancient world of the Maya, Aztec, and the ancient indigenous world of the America’s. This has given archaeologist more details to how they would prepare the dead for the goddess of Teotihuacan; along with, greater details of what materials these people where using at the time. This also gave researcher with better evidence to ritual offering in the form of animals to represent humans and life.

Further research has provided a sort of record of for how these practices worked and how the people of Teotihuacan might have used them. According to Cowgill, scholars have long suspected that the Pyramid of the Moon holds royal burials, in keeping with the Mesoamerican tradition known from Maya sites like Cobá and Palenque. Whether this person was sacrificed as part of a royal burial or as a building dedication is unclear. Because of this new discovery it has helped to shed some light to the functions of the great Pyramids, and how they might have been used to house Royals of Teotihuacan rather than a place for just ritual sacrifice. However, much is still unknown about Teotihuacan and the Pyramid of the Moon the massive structures that lay there remains one of history’s greatest structures ever created.