Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History conducted excavations in the so-called Great Plaza of the Tetelictic archaeological site, as its inhabitants referred to the sacred enclosure, in the municipality of Teteles de Ávila Castillo in Puebla, Mexico, with the aim of consolidating the three main structures found in it.

These structures, which show damage from erosion and subsequent use of stone for the local houses, are over 3,000 years old and date back to the late Middle Formative period (around 600 B.C.), with their heyday in the Proto-classic period, between 200 B.C. and 100 A.D.

One of the structures, called Structure 2, has a pyramidal shape of 50 by 27 meters and is composed of six bodies reaching six meters in height. Fragments of burned ceramics, polished stone tools, and obsidian and basalt have been found in it.

The excavations have confirmed the hypothesis that Tetelictic was a ceremonial center that, for reasons unknown, was abandoned by its inhabitants who moved to Teotihuacan, Cantona, or Cholula, but later returned to pay homage to their ancestors. According to researchers, its cultural characteristics are typical of the Totonac groups.

Archaeologist Diez Barroso Repizo indicated that the urban layout of the site allowed solar observation for the registration of the agricultural cycle, as revealed by the alignment of the main pyramid or Structure 1 with the star Canopus, a star visible only during February, the time when the agricultural cycle began, and which, according to oral tradition, rescued by the local chronicler of Yaonahuac, Cirilo Salazar Morenos, “is related to the veneration of the goddess Nantehuitz, our mother of the south”, to whom the ancient inhabitants left offerings of obsidian.

Excavations at the site continue, and archaeologists will now focus on understanding the construction and architectural systems of the pyramid bases.


Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) of Mexico

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