The largest pyramid, Cholula pyramid is in Mexico and has a bloody history


The tallest pyramid in the world is rightfully considered the Pyramid of Cheops. The building is located near the Egyptian Cairo and rises to 140 meters. Despite the record height, it is not the most voluminous – this title has long been owned by the Great Pyramid of Cholula, which is located in Mexico. With a height of 66 meters, this structure has dimensions at the base of 450 by 450 meters. It was built long before the beginning of our era and was dedicated to the Aztec god named Quetzalcoatl. Despite its age, the pyramid still looks great, is a popular tourist destination and is of great interest to archaeologists. Over the years, the pyramid of Cholula has experienced many events and its history is very bloody. Let’s find out more details about it.

Great Pyramid of Cholula

Construction of the largest pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is located in the Mexican state of Puebla, about 100 kilometers from Mexico City Airport. It was built between the 3rd and 8th centuries BC, on Mount Tlachihualtepetl. According to legend, this mountain was created by giants to make it easier for them to climb to heaven. This hill, and later the pyramid, was used for religious purposes and sacrifices were often made there – a lot of blood was shed on these lands. The pyramid was built by the ancient Aztecs.

The original appearance of the pyramid of Cholula

The pyramid of Cholula was built over several centuries and was dedicated to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. The base of the structure has dimensions of 450 by 450 meters, and the height is 66 meters. The Aztec pyramid is much lower than the pyramid of Cheops, but larger in volume – 4.45 million cubic meters versus 2.5 million. Hundreds of different passages were carried out inside the structure. Up to 100 thousand people lived around the pyramid, because the city of Cholupa was one of the largest almost in the whole world.

Image of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl

How did the pyramid get underground?

In the XII century, when Indian Toltecs began to live near the pyramid, the religious meaning was preserved only in the temple on its top. At the same time, the lower part of the pyramid was under the layers of the earth. Scientists do not know exactly what led to this. Perhaps the structure disappeared underground due to the fact that no one used it. There is also a version that the lower part of the pyramid was under the layers of the earth during a natural disaster such as a flood or a volcanic eruption. Finally, local residents could bury the pyramid themselves to hide it from the invaders.

Scientists still can not fully excavate the pyramid

If the latter assumption is correct, the people of Cholula have done their job admirably. In October 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés stormed the city and killed about 3,000 people, approximately 10% of the population. Many smaller pyramids were looted. After capturing the city, the Spaniards began to build their churches. One of them, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, was founded right on top of the Great Pyramid of Cholula. But the invaders had no idea that there was a huge pyramid right under their main church.

Pyramid of Cholula from above

Excavations of the largest pyramid in the world

After the capture of Cholula, the pyramid did not remain hidden for long. In 1535, the priest Toribio de Motolinia noticed the stone parts of the structure. For a long time, the pyramid remained untouched, but at the end of the 19th century, the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt began archaeological excavations. According to him, the pyramid of Cholula is “the greatest, oldest and most famous of all pyramidal objects.” By the 1970s, researchers had managed to open a series of tunnels 8 kilometers long.

Tunnel inside the Aztec pyramid

Clay bricks were found to have been used in the construction of the pyramid, which are particularly resistant to the Mexican climate. In the depths of the pyramid, an artificial cave was found, which could be considered by the Aztecs as a portal to the underworld. In one of the visits, the researchers managed to find a picture that depicts something like an insect. According to archaeologist Jeffrey McCafferty, an unknown artist could depict a butterfly in the process of metamorphosis. In addition to this, a place with plaster-covered human skulls was found inside the pyramid.

Pyramid of Cholula today

At the moment, the pyramid of Cholula is a popular place among tourists. At the same time, archaeologists continue to excavate and believe that they have to learn a lot of interesting things. Given that sacrifices were made in this pyramid and many people were killed, it really has a bloody history.

If you are interested, there is an article on our website about the Aztec “death whistle”. You can find out how it looked, how it sounded and what it was intended for in this Article.

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