Reverential Termination of the Sun Pyramid Cave, Teotihuacan

Author(s): Rebecca Sload

Year: 2016


Reverential termination is hypothesized for the human-made cave beneath the Sun Pyramid. While the idea of a mid-third century A.D. termination is not new and is based on radiocarbon dating and construction of blockages in the rear section of the cave and use of concrete, qualifying the termination as reverential is a refinement. The most direct information comes from examination of blockage construction, which is supported by two other lines of evidence. One also lays within the cave and involves analysis of the construction sequences of the four "narrowings," artificially constricted passages in the front section of the cave whose access was not affected by blockage construction. Original sections of the narrowings appear to have been terminated with the rest of the cave, followed by enlargements that mimic the originals. The copying indicates continuity of belief and respectful post termination ritual use of the cave. The other line of evidence is based on the hypothesized, recently published, interplay between cave and Pyramid in which radiocarbon dates, ceramics, and spatial relationships suggest that Teotihuacanos executed a well-conceived plan for both Pyramid and cave to terminate the mountain cave and redefine the Pyramid without cave. In all instances, reverence is indicated.

Cite this Record

Reverential Termination of the Sun Pyramid Cave, Teotihuacan. Rebecca Sload. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403342)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;