Toluca Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Calixtlahuaca (Place of the plain of houses) in the Tolucan Valley of central Mexico (Northwest of Toluca on the east side of highway 55). It is an important site for studing Aztec postclassic mesoamerican urbanism. This site is unusual because it has both monumental architecture and residential areas. The visible architecture and sculpture are Aztec in style, however, the layout of the site likely reflects the Calixtlahuaca/Matlatzinco cultural traditions.
Calixtlahuaca is located on the slopes and sediments of a relic volcano, Cerro Tenismo. The visible public architecture is present on the valley floor and continues up the slope to the summit of Cerro Tenismo. The structure group on the valley floor is misnamed a school. It is likely the palace of the ruling family of Calixtlahuaca. On the slope is the famous around temple stepped pyramid dedicated to the Aztec god of wind, Ehecatl. Most of the slope of Cerro Tenismo are still utilzed for agriculture due to the durability of the mesoamerican stone terrace retaining walls. The current archaeological data frames the occupation at Calixtlahuaca from the Middle Classic phase to the Late Postclassic phase (AD 1100-1520) The visible public architecture is note as securely dated. It is likely that most of the visible public structures were constructed prior to the fall of Calixtlahuaca to the Mexica (Aztec) around 1478.