The Franklin Institute's Resources for Science Learning Made possible by Unisys
Home (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Learners (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Educators (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Leadership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Partnership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)About Us (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)

MEXICO: PYRAMIDS OF TEOTIHUACAN

Teotihuacan is the most visited site in Mexico.  It is 40 km northeast of Mexico City.  The city was one of the first complete cities in Mexico.  It was directed by priests who offered human sacrifices to the gods so that the sun would rise each day.  The city was made of temples, pyramids, and palaces.  At its peak in the 5th century, it covered 20 km and was a great political center.  More than 200,000 people lived there.

In the center of the city is a long avenue called the Avenue of the Dead. The Avenue is 2.5 km long.

In the north rises up the Pyramid of the Moon and in the east is the Pyramid of the Sun, one of the largest in the world. (3rd after Egypt).

As originally built, the Sun Pyramid was approximately 215 x 215 meters at the base and about 63 meters high.  It has been enlarged to a final size of 225 meters along each side and a height of 70 meters.  This pyramid was actually reconstructed as 5 stepped platforms and a surrounding temple.

1. The Sun Pyramid has a square base.  Draw what it would look like from above and from the side.  How many vertices does it have?  How many edges?

2. The original base was 215 meters on each side.  What was the perimeter of the base?  It was increased to 225 meters on each side.  How much was added on?  What percent increase is this?

3. The Sun Pyramid is now made up of 4 platforms with steps up one side.  Suppose each platform is 3 meters in from the platform before it.  What would the perimeter of the second platform from the bottom be?

4. Suppose you walked around the pyramid on the ground and took approximately 3 steps for each meter.  About how many steps would you take?

5. In the market below the Sun Pyramid they are selling made to scale replicas of the pyramid.  If the one you buy is 9 cm at the base, how many meters is each cm equal to?  If you pay 59 pesos, is this closer to $6, $6.50, or $7 ($1 = 9.07 pesos)

Pyramid Solutions

Back to Melting Pot Math