5m West of HWY 160 in the state of Morelos, Chalcatzingo, Mexico
Olmec Trading Center? Feb 20, 2009
The mesoamerican archaeological site of Chalcatzingo is located in the Valley of Morelos in the State of Morelos on the west side of Highway 160 south of Cuautla. Currently Chalcatzingo is the only mesoamerican site in the Central highlands containing monumental sculpture. Chalcatzingo began to take shape as a trading center of the Olmec Culture during the Formative Period 1500 BC - 900 BC. This site is best known for the numerous (about 30) examples of Olmec-style monumental sculpture. This inventory of sculpture included both free-standing monuments and carvings on live rock faces. The people of Chalcatzingo began to produce this monumental sculptures around 900 BC. Chalcatzingo was at its zenith between 700 BC - 500 BC, with an estimated population of 1000. Archaeologist think that Chalcatzingo began to decline in population 500 BC. It is speculated that this decline is due to some change in the trading partners or the strength of the Olmec homeland along the Gulf coast. The ceremonial center of Chalcatzingo covers approximately 100 acres. It is speculated that this location was chosen for Chalcatzingo based on a combination of a number a factors that include warmer climate, large area of level fertile soil, a significant historic water supply, the possible spiritual significance of the two rugged volcanic hills (Cerro Chalcatzingo and Cerro Delgado)and the general central geographic location with the Gulf and Pacific coasts and the valleys of Mexico and Oaxaca. Cerro Chalcatzingo has historically been a ceremonial center based on the significant numbers of monumental sculpture near it, on it and carved into it. Water appears to be the main subject of the ceremonial aspect of Cerro Chalcatzingo. Currently there is vegetative evidence of a number of springs emanating from the base of Cerro Chalcatzingo. The site contains a central plaza that is immediately downhill from a group of structures that appear to be elite residences. There is a large sunken patio similar in style to "El Recinto", a sunken patio built between 1000 BC to 800 BC located at the site of Teopantecuanitlan. Teopantecuanitlan is located in the state of Guerrero at the convergence of the Amacuzac and Balsa Rivers approximately 5 miles north of where the Amacuzac empties into the Mezcala River. There is a table-style alter in the center of Chalcatzingo's patio, very similar to examples present at San Lorenzo and La Venta, both located in the Gulf coast lowlands of the Olmec heartland. The largest structure at Chalcatzingo in a nearly square platform measuring 230 feet per side. A number of high-status burials have been discovered contained in this public structure. The graves contained rich burials goods, including well executed jade ornaments and a magnetite mirror. These burials are very significant, in that the majority of all the burials discovered to date have been beneath the floors of residences regardless of social status of the individuals.
Part of the list Trips I Have Taken With Former TravBuddy Drivestoooofast.
Part of the list Pre-Columbian Ruins I Have Visited
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Related Travel Blogs About Chalcatzingo
Olmec Trading Center?|
The meso-american archaeological site of Chalcatzingo is located in the Valley of Morelos in the State of Morelos on the west side of Highway 160 south of Cuautla. Currently Chalcatzingo is the …Chalcatzingo is the only meso-american site in the Central highlands containing monumental sculpture. Chalcatzingo began to take…