Teotihuacán’s Lost Kings - Infographic: Dig deeper into Teotihuacán

Designer: Kyle Sweet, Producer: Chie Miyajima

Designer: Kyle Sweet, Producer: Chie Miyajima

Two thousand years ago, Teotihuacán was one of the largest cities in the world, a thriving metropolis not far from what is today Mexico City. But just a few hundred years later, it was completely abandoned, its former citizens long gone, leaving little trace of their culture.

What we know about the site:

A Rich Capital – Obsidian was known as the metal of the Americas and Teotihuacán controlled this valuable resource, making it an economic powerhouse.

COLORFUL – Teotihuacán was a painted city, covered with spectacular murals, and blanketed in white stucco and pigments that came from different parts of Mexico.

BUILT BY HAND – An examination of the buildings all across Teotihuacan indicates the city was built in just over 200 years-without the help of basic construction materials or methods…

Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent:

This Structure was the Center of the City of Teotihuacán.

To Archaeologists David Carballo and Sergio Gomez, it is clear the ancient inhabitants built the city in honor of their gods… and one in particular: The Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl.

Half bird, half snake, the Feathered Serpent is the god of creation. The ancient Teotihuacános installed an estimated 260 of these stone heads on the pyramid in honor of the Feathered Serpent.

Directly under the pyramid, 3 chambers are found. Around these chambers, these statues are found facing the center. What did they represent?

Secrets of the Dead: Teotihuacán’s Lost Kings, premieres nationally Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).