Incense burner from Teotihuacán. Teotihuacán was the largest urban center in pre-Columbian America and, at one time, one of the three largest cities in the world, rivaling Rome in Europe and Beijing in Asia. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a highland basin on the Mexican plateau which was centered on a large, shallow lake known as the "Lake of the Moon" near modern Mexico City. Teotihuacán was founded about 150 B.C. by refugees from the ancient Olmec ceremonial center of Cuicuilco.