Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Huasteca site Tancama in Queretaro is being prepared to receive public visit

Category: News reports

INAH, may, 2009. Located in the heart of Sierra Gorda, in Queretaro, and only 15 minutes away from Jalpan de Serra, Tancama will be the fourth archaeological zone open to public of that state, and one of the 10 sites that Felipe Calderon announced to be inaugurated during his presidential period. Specialists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) prospect, excavate and consolidate some Prehispanic structures, in order to adequate the settlement.

Tancama (“fire hill” in Huasteca language) represents an important space that helps understanding Sierra Gorda during Pre Columbian times, being proposed 3 different traditions: at northwest, the Huasteca; to northeast, Rio Verde tradition, and at south, a unique style represented by Ranas and Toluquilla sites.

Jorge Quiroz, specialist in charge of the Valles de la Sierra Gorda Archaeological Project, heads the work in Tancama, concentrated in the square called El Mirador, with 13 structures, which could be the first area to be open to public. The other 2 squares are named Santiago and La Promesa. Archaeologist Pablo Lopez, who has studied Tencama for more than 10 years, declared that the monumental area extends over 3.6 hectares, where particular plots were acquired by the municipality between 1999 and 2000 to avoid land ownership problems.

Although analysis of archaeological material found has to be completed, the expert commented that probably inhabitants were Huasteca people, and that the city had an important development during Epi Classic period, between 700 and 900 AD. “Tancama is part of the Mesoamerican region, but has particular features, such as rounded buildings and stone slabs, characteristic of the Huasteca tradition”, explained the archaeologist.

During 2009, archaeological labors will concentrate in the consolidation of Buildings 7 and 8, the western platform, and the supposed ballgame court. Building 1 will be explored and consolidated during the next field season.

Source: INAH.

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