Geography of the Place of Reeds

The Place of Reeds is based on this historical city called Teotihuacan. The site of Teotihuacan is 40 km north-east of present day Mexico City.

The City itself

By 650 AD Teotihuacan covered more than 20 square kilometres and had a population of some 85,000 inhabitants (Gendrop, 1972). To quote Grendrop (p.45):

Around the huge ceremonial centre which extends from the “Pyramid of the Moon” to “Quetzalcoatl’s Pyramid” (joined by the so called “Avenue of the Dead”), enormous residential areas are built, in regularly planned blocks with streets and sidewalks, a drainage system, plazas and adjoining temples, etc If we add such factors as the existence of channels for rivers and stream, cisterns, and publics services such as markets, shops, theatrers, ball courts, steam baths and so forth, we see that we have before us, for the first time in ancient Mexico, a great city in the true meaning of the word.

Teotihuacan had systems for utilising underground water and collecting rain, drains, artisan’s workshops, dwelling complexes, markets, streets, temples, palaces, a large ceremonial centre and districts where members of other Mesoamerican groups, who had moved to the city, lived.

Although its military and culture impact was felt throughout Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan has no military structures in the city itself (National Geographic).

The Valley

Teotihuacan is in a valley which is part of the central basin of Mexico (Vogel, 1995). There are some caves and lakes that were used for religious purposes.


Originally the climate was temperate and semi-dry on the plains where Teotihuacan stands and semi-humid on the higher ground around the valley.

Climate change brought drought in 535–536 (New World Encyclopedia: Teotihuacan). This may have contributed to the decline of Teotihucán. Archaeological evidence shows a rise in the percentage of juvenile skeletons with evidence of malnutrition during the sixth century.


Gendrop, P. (1972). Ancient Mexico. Editorial Trillas.

Miller, M., & Taube, K. (1993). An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. London: Thames & Hudson.

National Geographic: Who Built the Great City of Teotihuacan?

New World Encyclopedia: Teotihuacan

Vogel, S. (1995). Teotihuacan: History, Art and Monuments. Moncem Ediciones.

Leave a Reply