The ancient urban center of Teotihuacan covered about 20 square kilometers.
The current vision for the ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory is a coordinated series of projects focused on specific answerable questions, centered on the urban nature of the city, that will enable meaningful comparisons between Teotihuacan and modern cities.
Topics of interest include the degree of socioeconomic inequality among households, differences among the varied districts of the city, the nature of governance of both the city and the state it ruled, the organization and technologies of craft workshops and the extent of state control versus independent producers, and the nature of commercial institutions.
The overriding question is the extent to which Teotihuacan was similar to modern cities and the extent to which it was different. What lessons does the ancient city have for us today? For each of these topics we have inklings, but far more can and should be done to go beyond these inklings.
Because Teotihuacan flourished for some six centuries, we have the opportunity to see how all these topics changed over time, both through internal processes and through human and natural impacts on the environment. At present, little is known about this, and addressing these issues of sustainability is another of our objectives.