Olmec Trading Center?
Chalcatzingo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
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 only meso-american 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.
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.
The 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 - 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.
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.