Remains Of A Pyramid Foundation Discovered In Tlalmanalco, Mexico State

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Remains Of A Pyramid Foundation Discovered In Tlalmanalco, Mexico State

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) uncovered traces of a pyramidal basement in Tlalmanalco, State of Mexico, a community surrounded by contemporary constructions and surrounded by urban advance, after a landowner found a mound and contacted the Institute.

Detail of some spindle whorls found between levelling walls

According to the INAH, this find was part of the urban centre of the capital of Tlacochcalco, the altépetl or main manor of the league of Chalca peoples: the Chalcayotl, during the period of Mexica occupation.

Preliminary reports suggest that it is an elite housing type structure, a palatial parea, because the ceramic material found in the place is fine, but a more in-depth analysis is lacking.

The remains of this building, which are part of the totehuacan, the central neighborhood of Tlalmanalco, was located in the central streets of El Naranjo and Guerrero, crossing with Avenida de La Rosa, reported Hervé Víctor Monterrosa Desruelles, archaeologist of the state representation of the INAH.

View of the north wall of the third section, in the process of clearance

Monterrosa Desruelles explained that the pyramidal basement is a set of platforms and levels, a reflection of a pre-Hispanic occupation, “but unfortunately houses have been raised on them, although in this case, the owner of the property where they located the remains, when wanting to build, resorted to the institute in order to examine a mound detected on their land, which, when analyzed, revealed the structure, “he explained.


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According to the specialist, the elements of the discovered basement are only a third of the volume of the construction, the rest was devastated by the urban area. 

An architectural body of three levels was detected, whose base measures approximately 12 by 18 meters, and about 9 meters in height, from the height of the walls to the top.

After the discovery, a second phase will consist of giving volume and solidity to the structure, which is deteriorated, especially in its northwestern part, through consolidation and restoration works.

View of the northwest corner of the pyramidal base

For his part, the archaeologist and architect Ricardo Arredondo Rojas, reported that in the first body a few quarters were found with remains of stucco floors, with which the height of the walls was determined.

Arredondo Rojas indicated that architecturally the structure presents two phases of occupation: the first, from 1350 to 1465 – during the hegemonic period of Chalco -, which shows a clear Chalca influence, with a construction system that uses mortars based on lime and crushed tezontle , as well as lake mud as a binder, highlighting, due to his technique, the quarry work of the stone.

Detail of the tripod plate found in front of the wall of the third section on the north facade

The second stage – the archaeologist deepened – with an occupation of the Mexica Empire in that region (from 1465 and until the moment of contact with the Spanish), corresponds to the phase of expansion of the basement, which is verified with the series of drawers for constructive fillings built in that area.


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“However, the quality of the work declines completely, it becomes rougher, which indicates changes in the occupation and the sense of urban space,” he said.

If it were restored to its original volume, the pyramidal basement would have dimensions of between 35 and 45 meters per side in its first body, said Arredondo Rojas.


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