Mexico has over 29,000 sites of archaeological interest, with more discoveries being made every day. The history of Mexico and its people spans more than three millennia. First populated more than 13,000 years ago, the territory had various complex indigenous civilizations before being conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century.
The ancient Aztec city of Teotihuacán, located northeast of the city in Mexico, is arguably the most well-known archaeological attraction in Mexico which includes the Pyramid of the Sun, the third-largest pyramid in the world and the ominously named Avenue of Death.
The earliest known Mexican civilisation, the Olmecs, were based in the tropical lowlands of south central Mexico, in what is now know as Veracruz and Tabasco, from 1600 BCE to 350 BCE. Olmecs have left behind the Olmec colossal heads that they are best known for, with 17 stone heads, sculpted from 20-tonne basalt boulders, unearthed to date.
Calixtlahuaca, capital city of Matlatzinca civilisation, is in the Toluca Valley in the central Mexican highlands. Calixtlahuaca thought to be the third-largest Aztec-period city in central Mexico, was first excavated in the 1930s. It has well preserved ceremonial and residential areas including a life-sized sculpture of Ehecatl, the Aztec god of wind, discovered in the largest circular temple of the site.
Xochicalco is one of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Thought to have been central to Toltec, Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec and Aztec cultures. The site, made up of 10 square kilometres, contains a group of white stone ruins including the Piramide de Quetzalcoatl, known for its intricate stone carvings. The entire site is sits a plateau and offers an incredible panorama. With amazing beaches, ancient ruins, alluring culture, dynamic cities ladened with colonial architecture; Mexico truly is a tropical treasure trove.
20 November 2023