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The Toltec Ruins can be found in a large portion of Maya, central Mexico.  The capital is called Tula, which is just north of Mexico City.  Here, the Toltecs ruled primarily from the 10th to the 12th centuries AD.  This particular culture was the last of the dominant Mesoamericans prior to the appearance of the Aztecs.  While all of the Toltec Ruins are impressive, the ones that always get the most attention are those in Yucatan at Chichen Itza. 

These people spoke Nahuatl and had a special way of controlling.  The name, Toltecs translates to “urbanite” or “cultured person”, or more literally, “reed people”, which comes from the urban center from which they came.  Sometime around 900 AD, the Toltecs burned the city of Teotihuacan, which was lead by their powerful leader, Mixcoatl, meaning “cloud serpent.” 

Then later in that same century, Mixcoatl’s son, Ce Acatl Topiltzin, began forming several states that consisted of different ethnic groups, creating an empire.  Many gods were associated with the Toltec Ruins to include Quetzalcoatl, which means “feathered serpent.”  This god represented civilization, the forces of good and light.  This name came from the Aztec, which was connected to the Montezuma emperor. 

Then, Maya Kulkulcan was also represented by a feathered serpent.  While no one is certain, experts believe this god was derived from the same historical figure as Quetzalcoatl was.  Other gods that played an important role for the Toltec people and associated with the Toltec Ruins include Tezcaltlipoca, the god of night and darkness, Centotl, god of corn, Tiloc, the god of rain and vegetation, Tonatiuh the solar god, and finally, Itzaploti, the god of butterfly of obsidian. 

The Toltec people were great builders and craftsmen, having created some amazing porticoes, serpent columns, metalwork, carved animal and human standard bearers, massive statues, and unusual reclining Chac-Mool figures.  Then in the 12th century, the nomadic Chichimec invaded this area, literally destroying the dominant state of the Toltecs.  As a part of this invasion were the Aztec Indians, who went on to destroy Tollan in the 12th century. 

One of the significant aspects of the Toltecs is that their culture was so strong that the Maya of Chichen Itza incorporated much of it.  While a positive connection cannot be made, it is believed that the emerging Kukulcan, or Mayan version of the feathered serpent god, coordinated with the peak and probably demise of the Toltec civilization.  The assimilation of the Toltec culture at Chichen Itza was so powerful that you can find feathered rattlesnake images throughout the area. 

While we know much about Tula, the Toltec Ruins, and the Toltec people, there are many myths associated with this civilization.  First is that the priest king of Tula, Quetzalcatl.  Some stories indicate that he offered humans as sacrifices.  In truth, he did offer sacrifices but only birds, butterflies, and snakes.  Prior to him performing any of his black magic, he was expelled from Tula by Tezcatlipoca, the god of the night sky. 

The temple at Quetzalcatl, located at the Aztec capital was designed as a round building, shape believed to match best with the god’s personality.  During this era, it was believed that circular temples pleased the god Ehcatl since no sharp obstacles were presented to the wind. 

No matter how you look at it, the Toltec people were known as being people of knowledge.  These people were strong, creative, and very talented, obviously seen in the Toltec Ruins. Throughout their existence, Teotihuacan was the center of spiritual knowledge and transformation for the Toltec.  For this reason, these ruins are a popular destination, one that provides a glimpse into the special nature and deepness of the Toltec people. 

  Teotihuacan Olmec Ruins   Conquest of Mexico - Part 1
  Pyramids of Mexico   The Mayan Calendar

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