On a cloudy Thursday afternoon we arrived at the ruins of Teotenango, a city built in several stages between 750 CE and 1162 CE. There are temples, platforms for dwellings, palaces, plazas, ballcourt, and a steam bath known as a temazcal.
To put this into perspective, this epoch was the time of: Charlemagne, crusades, castles, and Viking raids.
The city is located on top of a hill formed by a volcanic eruption 10,000 years ago, situated in a valley known as Tenango del Valle. The valley, and subsequently Teotenango, were occupied for 1,000 years before the Spanish arrived.
Several waves of conquests and developments characterize the site. First founded by the Otomi people (now known as the Teotenacas), the city was then conquered by the Matlatzincas in 1162, before finally succumbing to the Aztecs in 1474.
We visited the site just weeks after the spring equinox, when people from the surrounding valley come to Teotenango for a traditional pre-Hispanic festival. The time of the equinox is thought to be auspicious, so people gather together on the ruins of Teotenango for the chance to gain energy from the gods.