Xochitecatl, Mexico (November 1-7, 2006)
in the Department of Tlaxcala, ca. 117 km. southwest of Mexico City
& ca. 19 km north of Puebla.
discovered in 1969, but the pyramids weren't excavated until 1994.
There are 3 pyramids: Spiral, Serpent, and Flowers. The complex, which
some say was dedicated to women was erected between 1000 and 800 B.C.
Cacatxla is a huge pyramid to the
west, about 20 minutes walk. It was discovered in the 1975 because
grave robbers were happily at work there. Its murals rival those at
Bonampak. It is currently covered by the 2nd largest archaeological
roof system in the world. It is NOT a Heritage site because the
committee decided the roof was too ugly (!?)
Not much is known about the people who constructed Cacatxla. They may
have been Olmecs or Mayans. The pyramid was constructed over and over
again, beginning around 650 BC; it was abandoned around 1000 B.C.
The murals use Mayan blues, but contain Highland symbolism. No
one really knows what to make of this. Most of the scenes depict
warriors. However, there is a set that show a male and female somehow
connected with Venus. Our guide said she was looking toward Venus and
also Xochitecatl. The murals were painted around 750 B.C.
View of the valley around Puebla. There are 2 volcanoes off in the
Spiral Pyramid at Xochitecatl - as viewed from Cacatxla looking east
Small pyramid in front of Cacatxcla
Inside the pyramid no flash is allowed
There are many "rooms" in this pyramid. More excavations cannot
be done because the deeper one goes, the more likely the walls will
This may have been a ball court.