From September 30 – February 11, the deYoung Museum in San Francisco is home to Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire, an exhibit featuring over 200 objects from what is one of the earliest and most important cities in the Americas, Teotihuacan.
This is the first major US exhibition on the art of Teotihuacan, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in over 20 years.
What makes this exhibit particularly exciting is that it includes never-before-seen (well, not seen since Teotihuacanos saw them) objects that were found in a tunnel underneath the Feathered Serpent Pyramid in 2003 by Mexican archaeologists.
These new discoveries are joined by other artifacts that were found as far back as a century ago.
Teotihuacan was a major urban center that attracted a population of over one hundred thousand people.
These objects offer insight into what was clearly an incredible civilization and city.
According to the deYoung’s website “These finely crafted works demonstrate how the city’s dominant ideology permeated everyday spaces, united a diverse population, and provided a guide for citizens as they navigated Teotihuacan’s streets.”
The ancient city was established in the first century B.C., reached its peak around 400 C.E. and then around 550 C.E. something deliberate and mysterious happened: buildings were set on fire and major pieces of artwork were smashed.
After that things fell apart, the population disipated and Teotihuacan was never the same again.
There is still so much to learn about this wonderful place. So much is still a mystery. We don’t even know what its actual name was and call it Teotihuacan because that’s what the Aztecs named it when they came across it almost a thousand years after it was built. The name means “the birthplace of the gods,” which gives you an idea of the impact it had on the Aztecs.
I was able to see the exhibit during the press preview and loved it so much that I plan on taking my whole family back to see it. I want my children to see that we descend from some rather incredible people and that our history is still unfolding.
Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
San Francisco, CA 94118
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