A reconstruction drawing of the central precincts at Teotituacán (c. AD 500).
courtesy American Museum of Natural History Library

Teotituacán was certainly larger, and probably cleaner, than many European cities of the time. Large residential areas surrounded the central precincts, and houses with chinampa gardens lay on the outskirts of the city. Six major canals ran through Teotituacán, and three causeways connected the city with the shore. At least 200,000 canoes provided convenient transport for the people of the city, which was divided into sixty or seventy well-organized wards. Teotituacán was a magnificent city set in a green swath of country in the middle of a clear lake, with a superb backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes.

from People of the Earth, 10th Edition byBrian M. Fagan


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