A funerary offering of Chinesca culture integrated by 8 ceramic pieces created between 200 BC and 400 AD was found in Tepic municipality, at Nayarit Mexican state. This is the first conjunct of Chinesca objects located in their original place in all Western Mexico.
Six anthropomorphic figures and 2 vessels were found; based on the way they were placed, a reduced space in a half-moon shape, it can be deduced it was part of a shaft tomb.
For the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) specialists, the finding represents an exceptional opportunity to explore shaft tombs of Chinesca affiliation, since these contexts had not been analyzed in situ before.
The distinctive characteristics of Chinesca culture are the oriental features of the figure faces, as well as its pottery, which present a buff colored coating and with fine black and red lines.
Armando Santa Cruz Ruiz, director of Nayarit INAH Center, and archaeologist Mauricio Garduño, informed that the discovery took place at 14 de Marzo locality, where houses are being constructed. Tepic municipal president, Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, gave notice to the Institute so the finding could be verified.
After positively dating the more than 1,600 years old objects, INAH began the salvage and moved the objects to Nayarit INAH Center for their register and restoration.
Mauricio Garduño, responsible of archaeological excavation, detailed that nuclear zone of Chinesca culture was settled in Nayarit high plateau valleys, in Tepic and Compostela, from where it diffused to other regions. It was a highly developed culture for it time (200 BC to 400 AD), with an advanced agriculture, handcraft production and important commercial activity with groups at the coast, with whom exchanged obsidian and shell.
Chinesca culture controlled important raw material deposits, such as in Navajas Volcano, where obsidian of excellent quality was found.
The INAH archaeologist informed that evidence of this culture has been found at Cañon de Bolaños, Jalisco. Material of the same affiliation has been recovered as well in Northwestern Coast that corresponds to the first 2 centuries of the Common Era.
Most relevant funerary architecture in Prehispanic Western Mexico is represented by shaft tombs, underground funerary complexes integrated by crypts with vertical shafts, with rich offerings. At this kind of Prehispanic tombs, offerings were placed around the shaft, in a half moon shape.
Finally, INAH will continue doing probing wells in a 2,500 square meters area with the aim of recovering the most information possible, concluded Garduño.