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Malinalco Archaeological Site

Malinalco Archaeological Site

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Malinalco Archeological Site

Location: 70 km (43 mi) Southeast of Toluca, Mexico state  Map

Open: Tue- Sun

www.inah.gob.mx

 

Malinalco is an archeological site situated 70 km (43 mi) Southeast of Toluca, Mexico state in Mexico. Malinalco Archeological Site settlement was first settled by the local native tribe of Matlazinca who occupied local valley of Malinalco. After Aztecs under reign of Axayacatl conquered the area and subdued its people in 1476 they started construction of a new city. Original city quickly grew in size and complexity. Most of the buildings that you see today date to the Aztec period in the early 16th century when emperor Ahuitzotl ruled the expansive empire.

 

 

 

Just inside of the entrance, on the east side, there is a sculpture of a serpent’s head on which rests the remains of a statue of an Eagle Warrior. To the west, there is another sculpture in the shape of a large pedestal, symbolizing a tlapanhuéhuetl (war drum). Above this is a sculpture of a cipactli, which is a primeval being, occasionally called a “monster of the earth.” The cipactli is holding up a person, of which only the sandals remain.[8] It is thought the two statues functioned as standards. Further inside is a bench that surrounds a space similar to a hemicycle. The horseshoe bench has four sculptures, the most outstanding one being an eagle that faces the entrance. Two others are also of eagles while the fourth is a jaguar. The jaguar statue has its skin spread out as if it were a mounted trophy. Behind the eagles there is a cuauhxicalli or sacred vessel in which to put the hearts of sacrifice victims, who then turn into messengers of the sun. The orientation of the building relates to the movement of the stars. Before it was covered with a thatched roof to preserve it, openings in the walls provoked light phenomena at certain times such as at the summer solstice.

From here was found a large wooden huéhuetl or ceremonial war drum, which is now in the Museum of Anthropology and History in the Mexiquense Cultural Center in Toluca. At the spring and fall equinoxes some 5,000 to 7,000 people visit the site. The conical thatched roof that covers the main building is a reproduction of the kind of roof it probably had in antiquity, but the shed-like porch is less faithful to the original. Despite acts of vandalism, the interior of this building is still in good condition.

 

 

 

 

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