Tula may have once been an outpost of Teotihuacan, guarding it frontiers against the hunting tribes of the northern deserts. United under the leader Mixcoatl, the warlike Toltec overwhelm the peoples of central Mexico.
There, Mixcoatl’s son Toplizin founds a large empire of states centered around the Toltec capital of Tula. Tula spreads over a area of more than five square miles and has a population in the tens of thousands.
Tula had a population of about 40,000 by 1100. The Toltec architects designed with established methods, such as placing buildings around large plazas, using many-tiered platforms as bases, building newer structures as bases, building newer structures atop older ones and painting colorful motifs on surfaces of buildings.
The region includes a swampland that provides the Toltec with basketry materials and gives Tula its original name –Tollan, meaning ‘place of the reeds.’
The last king of Tula and the Toltecs, Ce Coatl Huemac, ruled for sixty years. The first decades of his reign brought prosperity to the Toltecs but in 1168, Huemac was forced to leave Tula following a number of years of continuous social crisis, made more acute by hunger and invasions resulting from a long period of drought in all central Mexico.
In 1224, Tula was finally sacked and burned by invaders from the north. The destruction of Tula, had occurred even before the arrival of the Aztecs to Central Mexico, but they knew of and visited its ruins.
Capital of Tula in Toltec empire