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Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico (Population: 40,000)

Teotihuacan was one of the greatest Mesoamerican cities with a sizable population at its peak that rivaled contemporary cities such as ancient Rome and Luoyang of the Eastern Han. According to the Bible Timeline with World History, the population had reached about 40,000 before 25 AD. Teotihuacan was a city laid out in a neat grid pattern right in the heart of the Valley of Mexico. It also had a sophisticated plumbing sewage system that drained water into underground canals.

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Teotihuacan started as a rural settlement that gradually grew into a large urban center as the years passed. The people mostly lived in single-story apartment complexes. These were divided into compounds where small families of 20 individuals or large ones with up to 100 people lived. Farmers, artisans, and merchants were spread out within the city’s 20 sq km residential area.

Teotihuacan_population
“… the eruption of the Xitle volcano”

Immigrants from the cities of the Gulf of Mexico also flocked into Teotihuacan. This was evident by the difference in the ceramics recovered from the apartment complexes. As the city grew, more people chose to live in the rural areas outside Teotihuacan for farming or to domesticate animals. Which also supplied the needs of the people inside the city.

The population of Teotihuacan would peak further to 200,000 when refugees from the neighboring Cuicuilco flocked to the city following the eruption of the Xitle volcano. However, the population would be greatly reduced during the decline of Teotihuacan in 650 AD.

References:
Yoffee, Norman, ed. The Cambridge World History. Volume 3: Early Cities in Comparative Perspective, 4000 BCE-1200 CE. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015
Hansen, Valerie, and Kenneth Curtis. Voyages in World History, Volume 1. Wadsworth Publishing, 2008
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