It’s said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. With that in mind it may do modern human society today well to consider the lesson learned from Teotihuacan, Mexico. This ancient city was inhabited by the Aztecs and was one of the most important and largest sacred cities in Mesoamerica prior to its demise reports a story on the “Ancient Origins” website (see link below).
Having been to this site a few time the ruins of Teotihuacan are nothing short of impressive and if you ever get the chance to visit the site you should as you will not be disappointed. A new study of the ruins suggests that around 550 AD a fire raged through the city that was not accidental but was set intentionally by residence who grew upset with the ruling elites and their greed. Sound familiar? It should because there are growing numbers of people today who are upset with our ruling elites and their endless GREED!
The new study suggests the city was set ablaze by angry mobs during the revolt. Whether or not this revolt had been brewing for awhile or was spontaneous is unknown but I think most likely it had been brewing for awhile just as anger, resentment, suspicion, and discontent have been brewing for a long while in our own society towards our own ruling elites and their boundless greed. Revolutions seldom happen spontaneously as most have been brewing for a long time as resentment builds. That resentment usually explodes into revolt once a spark is lit. That spark then spreads like wildfire as the non-elites have had enough of the tyranny and greed of the ruling elites. At that point anything can happen and in the case of Teotihuacan the result was REVOLUTION.
Teotihuacan ruins are located about 30 miles northeast of modern-day Mexico City. It’s estimated the city once had a population of around 100K to 200K people. The city was noted for its impressive ruins such as the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the serpent god of the Mesoamericans. Despite all of the archaeological research that’s been conducted at the site we still really don’t know much about it as we don’t know its origins or the language the people spoke. They left no written records, sadly. Further, there appear to be no traces of invasion at the time of the fire and the researchers feel pretty certain that the fire was part of a revolt against the elites. Resentment builds among the “have-nots” in any human society. That resentment can build into anger and, as we all know, anger can easily build into rage then explodes typically in an uncontrolled fashion.
Large numbers of people moved into the city, as the Ancient Origins article states, following two volcanic eruptions. The first eruption was in the 1st century AD and the later was happened around 320 AD. Researchers connected with the new study believe that these two events resulted in the society in the city being reorganized and becoming a “corporate multiethnic system.”
Minority groups who immigrated to the city tended to settle on the outskirts in their own little suburbs. It appears racial strife may have been part of the growing resentment and when that racial resentment built to the point of no return it exploded wildly! Numerous burial sites have been found in the area and many contain individuals with decapitated heads and other body parts. Not surprisingly many of these individuals were from the immigrants who settled on the outskirts of the city. We see such building resentment in Europe and the US today towards immigrants from the Middle East and Mexico, sadly. There is no doubt in my mind that our resentment will one day explode in a wild fashion just as it did in Teotihuacan with perhaps similar results.
Simply, the society of Teotihuacan was transformed into a corporatist society which is the same type of society we have today in Europe and the US. Such a society is motivated by the almighty PROFIT and that’s PROFIT at ANY cost! Wealth is possessed by a few while the masses are left wanting and struggling just to make ends meet. In the case of Teotihuacan the corporate society became so conflicted by increasing class divisions and multiethnic strife that resentment built until it turned to anger and eventually exploded into rage resulting in grand scale civil unrest (read REVOLT). And, sadly, that’s the same path we are on today and I am sure that at some point the end result will be similar to what it was in Teotihuacan. As in their society so it is in our own today. You might call it a “repeat of history.” The elites control the wealth and the raw materials just as those in Teotihuacan did and, frankly, it all other societies. The elites exploit the labor of the masses without hesitation so they can gain PROFIT which they are blinded by. That PROFIT must be attained at ANY price including the price of human life if necessary and IT IS! We can already see the growing tensions in modern society as the elites gain more and the masses gain less. Racial strife is building and threatens to boil over sometime soon. Global disasters abound in terms of climate change and these only add to the growing tensions of modern humanity. EXCLUSION is the hallmark of modern society not IN-clusion! It is a repeat of history from Teotihuacan and other past societies that would do us well today to learn a lesson from. Corporatism only works for a while and then EVERYTHING comes crashing down in a rather destructive and violent manner. Sadly, the fact is humanity SELDOM learns from the mistakes of the past so I have no doubt that at some point we will suffer a similar fate as that of Teotihuacan and other past corporatist societies.
Teotihuacan was an powerful city in ancient times in Mesoamerica. It had extensive trade routes and ties with native peoples faraway including the people of Chaco, New Mexico and the Sinagua People of Chavez Pass in Northern Arizona. It was an economic powerhouse with a powerful military and powerful economy able to spread its influence in just about any place the elites of the city desired. The majority of the people were farmers and the middle class was made up of craftsmen, soldiers, merchants, and priest-rulers. The upper class were the elites who owned the means of production and raw materials and they controlled most of the wealth. It’s the SAME today in modern society around the globe!
Society in Teotihuacan began to falter and fragment. I’m sure the people knew their society was falling just as many of us today see that our own is falling and fragmenting. Civil unrest grew to the point at which the authorities could no longer contain it and the masses could no longer be satisfied to stave off a revolt. And when that revolt happened it happened in an explosion that resulted in the burning of the great city and the slaughter of innocents. But….isn’t that always how this tale ends?
The name Teotihuacan comes from the language of the Aztecs known as Nahuatl. It means “birthplace of the gods” and reflects the Nahua creation stories. The Aztecs believed that the gods created the universe at the site. Its name has also been interpreted as meaning “place of those who have the road of the gods.” The origins of the city remain a mystery even today. We don’t know for certain who built it. Not so long ago archaeologists believed the Toltec were the builders of the city and this belief was based on colonial period writings. But the Nahuatl word “Toltec” actually means “craftsmen of the highest rank” and may not always refer to the Toltec civilization that we are most familiar with. Toltec society was actually centered in Tula and Toltec civilization flourished centuries AFTER Teotihuacan. Thus, most Mesoamerican archaeologists believe it DOUBTFUL the city was built by the Toltec.
So what was this place? Who built it? Why was it called the “birthplace of the gods”? And, just exactly what was or is the “road of the gods” that the people of Teotihuacan were said to have possessed?
Teotihuacan is a bit of an enigma and mystery. It continues to be so even today.