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El Coporo Archaeological Site Consolidation Advances
Panoramic view of El Coporo archaeological site. Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) continue salvage and excavation work at El Coporo Archaeological Site in Guanajuato. This year, conditioning of the pyramid base located at the top of the mountain that names the site has been achieved, and soon, services area construction will begin.

Carlos Torreblanca Padilla, coordinator of El Coporo Archaeological Project informed that it began in 2005, presenting considerable advance, so it might be open to public in 2 years from now. Six conjuncts have been excavated to present at the site associated with Tunal Grande culture (200-1100 AD): Gotas, Llano, Aire, Coporo,Montes and Caracol.

Excavated zones represent 5 per cent of the 84 hectares total extension, where 150 structures have been discovered. “This INAH project is focused on 3 fundamental areas: salvage, research and protection of the archaeological site; divulgation and safeguard of ecosystem, and foment of social conscience regarding cultural heritage conservation”, he commented.

El Coporo hill shares its name with the archaeological zone and the conjunct located at the top, where an 80 per cent of the pyramid basement that used to be ceremonial and government center has been consolidated. It ruled over nearly 29 minor settlements at the slope, which main occupation was registered between 500 and 900 AD.

Coporo is a Tarasca word that means “on the main road”. The civilization that constructed it was named Gran Tunal, and developed in San Luis Potosi, Jalisco, Zacatecas and Guanajuato.

Archaeologist Torreblanca announced that in late 2009 Visitors Center will be finished, where the Site Museum, Services Area, cafeteria, administrative unit, sanitary services and parking lot will be located.

“This area is not part of the Polygonal Protection Area, and will be in custody of Guanajuato Institute of Culture; resources generated will be used to protect, conserve and operate the archaeological zone”, he remarked.

With the aim of preserving natural environment and raise awareness on cultural heritage protection, ecologic visits have been designed to help learn more about the region’s biodiversity by using informative cards with ancient medicinal uses given to plants.

During the rainy season rivers, waterfalls and natural pools form, which are part of ecological visits, which, concluded Torreblanca, will allow occasional observation of animal species such as coyotes, eagles and other birds, reptiles and bobcats.

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