In Náhuatl dialect
"the place of the house of flowers". Although historians believe
that this is actually a name of one of the buildings on a site.
The real name of Xochicalcoa Archaeological Site is believed to be a hieroglyph that is
repeated all over the city. It is that of Totolhuacalco or "place of trapped birds". It is one of the most
important and best preserved sites that were made a Unesco World Heritage Site. The excavated portion
of the site measure 10 square kilometres although archaeological
digs still continue. Different strata represent different
cultures that took possession of Xochicalcoa. This includes the
Toltec, Olmec, Zapotex, Mixtec and finally Aztec civilizations.
Xochicalcoa was found in the second century BC and
reached its peak between 600 and 900 AD. Eventually Xochicalcoa was
captured and burned down. After its initial destruction the site
was resettled by a small group of people. It never reached the
same magnitude in size and population size.
One of the best preserved buildings in
Xochicalcoa Archaeological Site is
Pirámide de Quetzalcóatl (Feathered
a pyramid in the central of the archaeological park. Its sides
are covered by carved relief of a Feathered Serpent, ancient
god. Another interesting structure here is the Observatory. A
dark corridor will take you inside this structure. Only few
holes in the roof lined with important astronomical marks is the
only source of light in this room. Additionally a network of
drainage system, cisterns, temples, residential buildings and
fortifications are spread all over area. The buildings clear
show that the society of Xochicalco had a clear social division
between the rich and the poor.