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Archaeological Finding Confirms Ixcateopan Produced Cotton
In the east section of the main deck there is a 56 meter long wall. Photo: INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Ixcateopan, in Guerrero, was one of the last settlements to be subjugated by Mexica Empire, becoming tributary in the late 15th and early 16th centuries; at this archaeological zone, specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered tools that confirm that people spun cotton, used to confection warrior garments in Tenochtitlan.

During the most recent exploration season at the site located 36 kilometers away from Taxco, archaeologists found tools, mainly spindles, when excavating remains of rooms.

Raul Barrera, in charge of the archaeological project, informed that this finding, combined with the name in Nahuatl that means “Cotton Temple”, confirms that Ixcateopan delivered important amounts of cotton thread to Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan seignories.

“In some of these rooms was spun the cotton used to create the warrior garments. This information helps us determining the close relation between this site and the center of Mexico; local ceramic rests were found in the same proportion as those from Mexico Valley”, he explained.

Barrera, also responsible of the Templo Mayor Museum Program of Urban Archaeology, mentioned that as part of research at Ixcateopan, west and east sections of the city built by a foothill were explored in 2009. Remains of a 56 meters-long wall, part of a platform, were discovered at the east, while terraces were found at the western section.

The intervention team, integrated by archaeologists, physical anthropologists and restorers, “has been able to determine that the top of this hill was adapted using artificial terraces, making easier to build a great platform atop which the ceremonial center was constructed, as well as plazas, staircases, dwelling rooms and warehouses.

“Based on historical sources, Ixcateopan was a Chontal settlement; to present, physical features and language are unknown, although archaeological and physical anthropology studies will help determining them”.

Archaeologist Barrera declared that Ixcateopan represents one of the most deeply studied sites in northern Guerrero, being the only Late Post Classic (1200-1521 AD) settlement that has been extensively excavated.

At the first field season, conducted in 2008, at least 3 constructive stages were detected, dated between 1450 and 1521 AD. “We base this statement on rests from Azteca III ceramic; a local one that imitated the last; fragments of Texcoco Red earthenware from Cholula, as well as local kinds such as deep red-on-buff.

Juan Yadeun began exploration at the site located in the municipality of the same name, 32 years ago. Two years ago, the south sector of the site was consolidated, restored and conserved.

The aim of the actual project is to “continue with the study to help archaeology of Guerrero acquire its real dimension, since in the entity there are Olmeca settlements, dated from Medium Pre Classic (1200-400BC) such as Teopantecuanitlan and Oxtotitlan, as well as from Classic and Post Classic periods, when the region presented a cultural mosaic integrated by Tlapaneca, Mixteca, Nahua, Matlazinca and Purepecha peoples”.

Paths are being constructed to protect the original stucco floors, as well as a protection wall that surrounds the archaeological zone; an Introduction Hall is to be inaugurated in 2010, to inform visitors about Prehispanic history of Ixcateopan, concluded archaeologist Raul Barrera.

Mexico | National Institute of Anthropology and History | Mexica Empire | Raul Barrera |

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