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Located 32 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacán is one of the largest and most impressive Mesoamerican sites; its expansive urban causeways and massive pyramids rise from the Basin of Mexico as a monument to its lasting influence and grandeur. The name Teotihuacán translates to ‘The City of the Gods’ in the Nahuatl language of the Aztec people, who conquered the area over 700 years after Teotihuacán fell. Teotihuacán was laid out on a grid and functioned as a city with a densely-populated and fully-urbanized central zone that was carefully planned by its founders. The Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl (which translates as ‘Feathered Serpent’) and the buildings of its surrounding plaza contain the greatest concentration of the city's painted and sculptural iconography. During Teotihuacán's peak, the entire facade of the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl was designed in the talud-tablero style and richly decorated with hundreds of alternating sculpted heads of the Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) and a goggle-eyed deity named Tlaloc. The Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl embodies and reflects the history and belief systems of Teotihuacán more than any other location onsite.

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