Photo: 1,500-year-old ceremonial site (INAH)
Archaeologists are exploring Teocaltitan, a 1,500-year-old ceremonial site located in the western Mexican state of Jalisco near the San Juan de los Lagos Church, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
The Teocaltitan archaeological zone covers 20 hectares (49 acres) and has at least 23 structures built between 450 and 900, the INAH said in a statement.
Most of the structures at Teocaltitan are buried and offer great research potential, the INAH said.
“We are talking about a site with high potential, both from a tourism standpoint and research,” Teocaltitan project director Marisol Montejano said.
The ceremonial center could become a destination for the 6 million pilgrims who visit the Cathedral of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos, located 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) away, each year.
“The interesting thing about Teocaltitan, aside from the fact that it has Teotihuacanian influence in its architecture, such as the use of sloped tops, is that it has many elements common to the region, characterized by square architecture, sunken patios and in a ‘U’ form, pyramids with enclosed patios, ball courts,” Montejano said.
The digs at Teocaltitan will continue in 2014 and “it is possible that archaeologists will find a burial zone for the site’s elites,” the archaeologist said.