Stinky is super excited to see Periwinkle and share their next adventure. It’s only going to be in the 30s today at his house, so he has planned a destination with warmer temperatures. It will even be a bit warmer than at Periwinkle’s home in Florida. While contemplating their adventure, Stinky hears the familiar whoosh from the teleportation tunnel. He rushes to catch Periwinkle in his paws, and they spend several minutes whisker kissing. Finally, Periwinkle asks the familiar question: “So, Stinky, what do you have planned for us today?”
“I had considered helping my mom with the Chirstmas decorations, but she hasn’t even put up the trees yet. So, I am taking us someplace warm, but you’ll have to wait until we get there to find out.” Stinky then takes Periwinkle’s paw and leads her back into the teleportation tunnel. Moments later they arrive in Teotihuacan (“The City of the Gods”), Mexico. It is the site of architecturally significant pyramids from the pre-Columbian Americas: the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
Stinky tells Periwinkle that in the first half of the first millennium (between 1 and 500 CE), Teotihuacan was the largest city in the Americas. It was considered the first advanced civilization as well as the cultural, political, economic and religious center of ancient Mesoamerica. At the time, the population was estimated to be 125,000 or more. That made it at least the sixth-largest city in the world. “Today we will see the city and the pyramids.
“That sounds like fun. Let’s get started,” replies Periwinkle.
“Periwinkle, you know that I like to tell our readers about the places we visit. There is just too much information, however, to share in a short post,” Stinky explains. “I am suggesting that our readers check out sites on the internet dedicated to information about the Teotihuacan civilization, the Sun and Moon pyramids and the Feathered Serpent pyramid. I will try to stick to some general information.”
Stinky tells Periwinkle that the ruined city is the first American city built on a grid plan. It contains 2,000 single-story apartment compounds as well as plazas, temples, a canalized river and the palaces of nobles and priests. The main buildings of the city are connected by a 130-foot-wide road. This is the Avenue of the Dead (“Calle de los Muertos”). It is 1.5 miles long and points directly at the sacred peak of Cerro Gordo (“fat hill” in Spanish).
Before exploring the city, the tabbies take a walk around the perimeter.
They first see the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.
Next is the Pyramid of the Sun.
Finally, they see the Pyramid of the Moon.
Periwinkle and Stinky then head to The Avenue of the Dead to visit the sites.
Temple of the Feathered Serpent
They begin at the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid at 75-feet tall. Stinky tells Periwinkle that the structure is notable for some of the earliest known representations of the Mesoamerican “feathered serpent” deity, which covered its sides. It’s known as well for the discovery in 1980 of more than 100 possibly sacrificial victims, dating from 150 to 200 CE, buried beneath the structure. The feathered serpent is more often associated with the much-later Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, and the temple is also known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.
Pyramid of the Sun
After a hard climb up the Pyramid of the Sun, the tabbies stop to catch their breath. When rested, Periwinkle says to Stinky, “I know you must be enjoying this adventure with the opportunity to climb all over these pyramids.”
“I will admit, I am having a pretty swell time,” Stinky replies. He then tells Periwinkle a bit about the pyramid. “The Pyramid of the Sun is not only the largest building in Teotihuacan but also one of the largest in Mesoamerica and the third largest in the world. Built in two phases in about 200 to 250 CE, the completed pyramid is 738 feet across and 246 feet high. The second phase included the construction of an altar atop of the pyramid. It has not survived to the current day. And though, the thinking is that the pyramid venerated a deity of the Teotihuacan society, little evidence exists to support this due to the loss of the temple.
“The exterior of the finished pyramid consisted of lime plaster, which was painted with brightly-colored murals. Unfortunately the paint and plaster are no longer visible. Jaguar heads and paws, stars and the rattles of snakes are among the few images associated with the pyramids.
“It too is on the Avenue of the Dead and lies between the Pyramid of the Moon and the Ciudadela (ancient courtyard). The name of the pyramid comes from the Aztecs. The name used by the Teotihuacans is unknown.”
Pyramid of the Moon
Before visiting the Pyramid of the Moon, the tabbies get a good look at it from atop one of the smaller structures.
“Stinky, this is really an incredible view,” exclaims Periwinkle.
Stinky agrees and tells Periwinkle that the Pyramid of the Moon is the second largest structure in the city. It is 141-feet high and the base is 426 by 511 feet. This pyramid has seven different layers of buildings from at least six renovations. Each addition was larger and covered the previous structure to update the building’s religious power. The structure was used for public, ritual sacrifices. It consists of five burial complexes labeled two through six. They contained sacrificial victims, both human and animal (felines, birds of prey, rattlesnakes and canids, including domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals and other species), figurines and obsidian objects. A platform atop the pyramid was used to worship the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, who served as a deity of water, fertility and creation. A tomb dedicated to the Great Goddess was discovered in 1998.
Stinky continues, “Mesoamerican cities, like Teotihuacan, used plazas as the core of social life. The public plaza of the Pyramid of the Moon also was used for astronomical observation activities related to the calendar. The complex contained small pyramidal structures, rooms, porticoes, patios, corridors and low platforms. Moon plaza served as a ceremonial, political and socioeconomic center.”
Surprise for Periwinkle
The tabbies were growing tired after so much walking and climbing, but before leaving for home, Stinky has planned a picnic with a great view of The Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun.
“Stinky, this is a terrific place to enjoy a view of the entire city. Thanks for planning this terrific adventure. I know I am going to read more about Teotihuacan when I get home. It is fascinating.”
“I totally agree, Periwinkle. And I certainly did enjoy the opportunity to do some climbing without you constantly telling me not to.”
Periwinkle giggles, squeezes Stinky’s paw and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “I guess you will just need to plan more adventures like this one where climbing is a requirement.”
Soon it is time for the tabbies to return to Stinky’s house. They enter the teleportation tunnel and are gone in a whoosh.
Back at Stinky’s House
When the tabbies arrive back at Stinky’s they notice that his mom has put up lots a garlands and wreaths around the house. Periwinkle claps her paws in delight as she sees all the twinkling lights. She tells Stinky’s mom, “I can’t wait to see how the decorations have progressed in two weeks. The house is already looking magical.” Stinky’s mom thanks Periwinkle for the compliment and gives her a big hug.
After a quick visit with Stinky’s fursibs, it’s time for Periwinkle to head home. She and Stinky share several paw hugs and whisker kisses. Then with the usual final wave and blown kiss, she enters the tunnel and is gone.
Stinky retires to the bedroom for a long nap and dreams of Periwinkle.
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