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This is a culture reading passage that provides information on Mexico's Great Pyramid of Cholula. It includes study questions and suggestions for projects that further evaluation the students' understanding. It is geared toward the introductory Spanish language classrooms.

Before you read

  1. Have you heard of any famous pyramids? Where are they located?
  2. Why did ancient civilizations built pyramids?
  3. What do you think “Cholula” means?
  4. Where do you think Cholula is located?
  5. What do you think happened to native temples and pyramids in Latin America during the Spanish Conquest?
  6. Look at the photo below of the Great Pyramid of Cholula. Is there anything that you think is out of the ordinary?
  7. How is this pyramid look different from the Egyptian pyramids?
  8. Jot down any other observations or questions you may have.

The great pyramid of cholula

Cholula pyramid
Cholula, the Pyramid . From Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Charlotte and Maximilian collection , 1846-1927

The great pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is located in the Mexican city of Cholula, near Puebla, Puebla in central Mexico. This pyramid is known by three names: Tullan, Tlachiuatepetl, and Cholullam. Tullan refers to its Toltec roots; Tlachiualtepetl means “handmade mountain.” Cholullam has more than one meaning: “place of the fugitives” or “place where the water runs” (Ashwell 29). Tollan Cholollan could, therefore, signify the place to which the Toltec fled after Tula’s fall between 1125 and 1156 (Ashwell 40).

Construction of the Great Pyramid began around 200 BC and the different indigenous peoples who later inhabited the region (the Olmecs, the Tolteca-Chichimeca, and the Aztecs) later added to the pyramid (Rincón del Vago). As a result, the Great Pyramid is composed of seven smaller, superimposed pyramids. It was dedicated to the god of rain, Chiconahui Quiáhuitl (Zona Arqueológica).

The pyramid was covered with adobe at the start of every new generation to allow for the building of a new pyramid over the last one. By the time the Spaniards arrived, the pyramid’s covering was overgrown and most likely already looked like a hill (Rincón del Vago). Legend holds, however, that the Cholulans covered the pyramid on purpose to prevent its destruction after hearing news of the Spaniards' destruction of other temples in Mexico.

Cholula pyramid complex

pyramid complex
This model shows the pyramid complex's structure, including the hidden pyramids and annexes.

Cortés described the city itself in his second letter to King Charles V , praising its fertile soil and beauty. He wrote:

the city is more beautiful than any is Spain, as it contains many towers, and is situated upon a plain. And I assure your Majesty, that I have counted from a mosque or temple four hundred mosques and as many towers, all of which are of mosques in this city. This city is more suitable for the Spaniards to inhabit than any of the towns we have yet seen, as it has unoccupied lands and water for cattle, which none of the others have that we have seen; and the multitude of people who dwell in the other places is so great, that there is not a hand’s-breadth of land which is not cultivated... (Cortés 17).

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Hispanic culture for the spanish classroom. OpenStax CNX. Aug 23, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11343/1.4
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