In the 15th century, Tenochtitlan was the largest city in the Americas, with a population of more than 200,000 people, more than most European capitals of the time. The city was built on an island in Lake Texcoco, surrounded by volcanoes, and was expanded with landfill as the city grew. Tenochtitlan served as the capitol of the Aztec Empire until Spanish invaders destroyed it beginning in 1521. Mexico City was built over the ruins, and expanded considerably as the lake was drained.
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What was Tenochtitlan like? Thomas Kole spent 18 months digitally recreating the city from documented history and from archaeological findings. Tenochtitlan was laid out in a grid, with sections connected to each other and to the lake shores by causeways, bridges, and canals. The city center contained temples, palaces, and government buildings, surrounded by neighborhoods segregated by class, each with their own marketplaces. Further out were agricultural areas, constantly expanded by filling in the lake with rubble. Kole’s images let us see this metropolis from every angle. Most impressive are the overlays with drone images of Mexico City today. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Thomas Kole)