Ruby Ramblings


Ixtepete – Archaeology in Zapopan
April 29, 2011, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Archaeology, Guadalajara, Mexico | Tags: , ,

One of the first things I noticed on the map of Guadalajara that a generous former resident of our house left behind, was an archaeological ruin in Zapopan. Before I even found where our street is on this map (which actually took considerably longer than it should have considering my map reading skills), I was hankering to find this place. There is very little information on this site. Even though it is technically protected by the state of Jalisco, and has a considerable fence built around it, for now the efforts to restore it and have an open visitors’ center have been put on hold.

The bus we found online, 59A, no longer exists, so we took bus 59 from the new bus station to Plaza De Sol, and then proceeded to walk from there. I wish I had written down the number of one of the buses that passed us on the way there to make future visitors lives easier. We walked, and walked, and walked, and walked…. We stopped and asked a few people how far it was, and their initial reaction was that we were crazy for walking. Sunburn aside, it really wasn’t that bad, but it was over an hour from the Plaza on a BLAZING day.

Once you get to the highway (and have to cross an overpass), it’s only another ten minutes or so. We walked far enough, that it no longer felt like city, with buildings getting further and further apart.

I hope in the future that the empty visitors center is opened. There was no information at the actual site, but from what I was able to find online, it is from between 700 and 900 A.D. from the Teochitlan II culture with square pyramids, mounds, and shaft tombs.

I found the structure next to the pyramid interesting, with a sloping aspect. I don’t know enough about this kind of archaeology to know what the purpose is, but maybe it’s the shaft tomb metioned online? (Russ, Aaron?)

The gate itself is unlocked for visitors, and a few people were resting under trees. There’s a little trash strewn about, and the sides of the pyramid are starting to erode from folks climbing around even though there is some barbed wire to keep people off. There was mention of a plethora of ceramic shards, but also online it’s mentioned that the site has been looted for decades. I really hope someday some true archaeology is done here and it is restored for view. It’s not that much smaller than Guachimontones, and arguably of similar importance.

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3 Comments so far
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wow you’re so dedicated to find this site. I think it’s kinda cool.

Comment by K. Crane Quick

Hey Shanna- the structure you photographed looks like it’s been partially reconstructed. I’m not sure when the excavations at Zapopan happened, but back in the early 1900s a lot of ad-hoc reconstruction work was done on Mexican sites. That’s why the big staircase you photographed at Zapopan and much of downtown Teotihuacan look so intact. Unfortunately, a lot of that work was more based on the imagination of the folks in charge than on the actual archaeology. My bet is the sloped ramps are actually partially-rebuilt staircases.

Cool photos – too bad the site isn’t being maintained.

Comment by AD-W

Yeah, and there was a new concrete staircase built on the back side that I didn’t post a photograph of because it’s so awful and out of place. The whole place is really haphazard, and is more a place for young folks to make out, and old folks to drink tequila resting against a tree now.

Comment by therubycanary




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