Tenango de Arista, Mexico
Tenancingo Tenango de Arista Reviews
Teotenango, Wall Of The Gods Jan 27, 2009
Teotenango is located south of Toluca on the west side of highway 55. It is a large hilltop site with numerous temple platforms, step pyramides, ballcourts, residential areas and a top notch museum/book store. Labels and books are in Spanish. Extensive reconstruction and excavation has been done to a small portion of the site. The parking lot is much lower that the ruins. Be prepared for the climb. Great views of the surrounding area from the ruins. There are above average snack stores adjacent to the parking lot. The artist guild studio was closed last when I last visited the site in December of 2007.
The visible architecture of Teotenango is a very important, dating from the year 1200 A.D., when the Teotenacas began building their city atop Tetépetl Hill. Only a small portion of this site has been explored. Teotenango is located northeast of Tetépetl Hill. The original topography of the site was uneven and rocky which demanded creative and skillful solutions to be able to build stable structures. Teotenango was home to the priesthood, military units and individual of high rank. Construction on this hilltop began around 250 BC by the Matlazincas. There are three large pyramids in excelent condition. There is also a grand ballcourt of the I-shaped type with inclined side walls and two goal rings mounted high on the vertical walls. Next to the ballcourt, there is a temascal (sweat bath). The main ceremonial area is known as Jaguar Plaza. There is evidence of human sacrifices being performed in this plaza. This site was built as a defensive postion with tall massive walls and a single defendable access ramp.
Román Piña Chan was the head archaeologist for this site during his entire career. He developed a time line for this site and the surrounding area.
I - Water (650 AD to 750 AD) A small village was developed (“water eye”) The houses were all very similar made of rock and mud.
II - Earth (750 AD to 900 AD) Quality of construction improved. There is evidence of public bathrooms and sweat baths. Pottery begans to show “Coyotlateco” traits. A type that has a brown slip with red decorations begins to appear.
III - Wind (900 AD to 1162 AD) Construction of communities with some palace-type houses, ceremonial platforms, streets, walls, drainage systems and a ballcourt. The pottery is now pure “Coyotlateco” type.
IV - Fire (1162 AD to 1476 AD) During this stage there was no monumental construction. The pottery has change to a type called Mazapa.
V - Death (1474 to 1550) During this stage there is very little new construction took place and that is limited to just the North section of the city.
The site museum is named after “Román Piña Chan” the head archaeologist. It is an excellent museum where you can find many of the most interesting pieces found at this site. There is a significant number of artifacts from several sites around Toluca. Some of the rarest pieces are a group of wooden drums that are attributed to the Malazinca Culture.
Part of the list Trips I Have Taken With Former TravBuddy Drivestoooofast.
Part of the list Pre-Columbian Ruins I Have Visited
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