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The6iconic atlantes of Tula on top of Pyramid B | ORIGINS

Today, little of the Toltec remains. The iconic 15-foot-tall stone warriors, atlantes, still stand a top "Pyramid B." These warriors used to serve as columns holding up the roof. The main facade of "Pyramid B" is a perfect example of characteristic Toltec architecture: partially covered by a large vestibule with multiple columns.

Tollan-Xicocotitlan Land of the Giants Just forty miles north of Mexico City lie the remains of a great ceremonial-political center. This city, TollanXicocotitlan, was home of the ancient Toltec people. Before the rise of the Aztec empire, much of central Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and the Yucatan Peninsula was controlled by the Toltec. It's possible Toltec tradition persisted after the disappearance of the civilization Chichen Itza appears to have a lot of Toltec influence.

Artist’s rendition of Pyramid B [CONCULTA-INAH]

Ball Court 1

Ball Court 2

Looking down from "Pyramid B" stand the remains of the Burnt Palace. Was this where the civilization's elite members met for private ceremonies? Quite possibly. This architectural complex consisted of three grand halls and benches set into the walls. Friezes and reliefs decorate the flat surfaces. The most important offerings discovered were in the central hall. The Coatepantli, serpent wall, was quite possibly a prototype for walls later on built around Aztec cities. The relief figures show human skeletons being devoured by giant rattlesnakes - a possible reference to human sacrifice. The stepped frets may have been of Mixtec influence because of their similarity to the Mitla mosaics in the Valley of Mexico. There are two ball courts, one to the North and the other to the West. "Ball Court 1" is the smallest ball court that has been excavated.

The Grand Halls of the Burnt Palace

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