What is the largest pyramid in the world ? Unlike what many believe, it is not the Great Pyramid of Giza on Egyptian territory. On the contrary, the largest pyramidal building that exists on planet Earth is found on Mexican soil, specifically in the state of Puebla, in Mexico. It is the Cholula pyramid.
The Pyramid of Cholula, the largest structure erected by man
The Great Pyramid of Cholula , also known as Tlachihualtépetl , is the largest pyramidal basement built by man. In total it covers an area of 400 meters per side, and in its final form it measured 450 by 450 meters. This monumental structure was dedicated to the god Quetzalcóatl, and is currently part of the archaeological zone of Cholula, in the center of Puebla.
The mythology of the region states that this pyramid was built by a giant who wanted to reach heaven, but today it is known that thousands of builders participated in its construction. It is estimated that from the time the foundations were laid to the completion of the work, some ten centuries passed.
It is not known exactly when the construction of this monument began, but archaeologists estimate that it was approximately in the year 300 a. C . In such a way that the building works lasted for several generations, from the second century BC until about 900 AD and 1100 AD.
The reason for its large size
One of the constructive practices of the Mesoamerican natives was the remodeling of old buildings . This was intended to expand and maintain the original buildings. In the case of the Cholula Pyramid, seven superimposed pyramids can be seen, each of which completely covered the previous pyramid.
Thus, the base of the pyramid was widening as the workers remodeled and rebuilt. This way of building was closely related to the beliefs and superstitions of the time. By then, it was better to build on the rubble than to remove it, so as not to offend the gods or desecrate their abode.
Created by a giant after a world cataclysm
The indigenous peoples of the region say that, at the beginning of human history , a different way of life lived on Earth than today. A civilization of giants dominated everything in its path, called by some gods or higher beings.
Then, a great flood ravaged the entire Earth and killed all the giants except one, Xelhua . As a sign of gratitude for having survived, he wanted to build a monument, a kind of ladder to reach heaven. The remains of this building is what we know today as the Cholula Pyramid.
Representation of a giant on a Pyramid. Now, Tonacatecutli, the father of all the gods, considered the act of the giant as an offense and its construction as a threat. Therefore, he threw large rocks from the sky and killed the giant and all the builders, causing the works to stop.
The ceremonial altar
One of the various altars found in the vicinity of the Great Pyramid of Cholula is known as the Ceremonial Altar . The chroniclers say that child sacrifices were carried out on this and other altars.
The villagers turned to the priests to invoke the help of the gods and send water for their crops. Each sacrificed child was a messenger who would go to the presence of the gods to ask for water.
This Ceremonial Altar was built after the abandonment of the Great Pyramid and Patio de los Altares. He had two skulls of children beheaded as an offering in front of his steps on the west side, skulls that reveal a serious bone deformation.
The Drinkers Mural
Finally, a mural depicting some 110 people drinking in a drunken ceremony is striking . Slender men hold large mugs of what might be a popular alcoholic beverage of the day called pulque. This representation is considered an extraordinary large-format work in Mesoamerica.
It is impossible to know all its secrets
At present, a Catholic church dedicated to the Virgen de los Remedios stands on the plateau outlined by the remains of the pyramid. For this and other reasons, it is impossible to continue digging to discover all the mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Cholula.