First the big dipper drifts into view, then the stars streak across the sky in time-lapse curves. They form the backdrop to the wondrous pyramids of Teotihuacan, which rival those of Egypt in height and mysticism.
The name itself means “the place where the gods were created,” and one can imagine such peoples stalking across this most ancient of lands. New discoveries abound constantly of this ancient site, whose builders were long gone when the Spaniards arrived in central Mexico in 1519.
The archaeological site is just 30 miles from Mexico City. At its height, between 100 B.C. and 650 A.D., it was eight square miles in area and had at least 100,000 people, said George Cowgill, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, to National Geographic.
"It was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere before the 1400s," said Cowgill, a grantee of the National Geographic Society. "It had thousands of residential compounds and scores of pyramid-temples and was comparable to the largest pyramids of Egypt."
Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, Teotihuacan, this city where men became gods (another translation of the name, which actually comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, who found it centuries after its demise), inspires awe. From the Pyramid of the Sun to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent Pyramid), the city is laid out with astronomical and mathematical precision.
Juxtaposing ancient vistas with modern technology, astrophotographer César Cantú put together this video that will leave the viewer wanting to book tickets straightaway.