Wednesday, July 19, 2006


The Spanish school (Encuentros) arranged a trip to Xochicalco one Saturday - approximately 20 miles from Cuernavaca. There is a small museum at the entrance to the site. Our guide knew the caretaker and we got a tour of the tunnel used by priests for celestial sightings. These pictures are from a trip back in 2002

Some much better pictures than my old ones - Xochicalco Park and Museum

Two other students and our guide in little town below after the trip

The ball court

Guess what

Another view

Looking down on a cold beer

Xochicalco whose name means "Place of the House of Flowers" in Náhuatl flourished between 700 and 900 A.D. It was once one of the most important cities in Mesoamerica and home to as many as 15,000 people. During the 20th century the ruins of this heavily fortified complex were extensively restored, and in 1999 Xochicalco was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, it is the largest and most-visited archaeological site in the state of Morelos.

The city of Xochicalco rose to prominence during the decline of Teotihuacan, whose immense ruins lie to the north of present day Mexico City. This powerful civilization had exerted its influence over most of Mexico for almost a millennium. Teotihuacan's collapse in the eighth century A.D. has still to be fully explained. Its demise left a power vacuum in Central Mexico that was filled first by Xochicalco and later by the Toltec city of Tula.

Xochicalco's origins remain something of a mystery. Its buildings bear the marks of several different cultures, including the Olmecs, the Zapotecs, and the Aztecs. However, the city's architecture and artwork are essentially Maya, leading archaeologists to believe that Xochicalco was founded by Maya traders from the Gulf Coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The strategic location south of Teotihuacan would have given them access to trade routes radiating out from the Valley of Mexico.
Related Posts with Thumbnails