Tazumal Archeological Site

The Tazumal site is located in the Chalchuapa valley and archeological area, covering approximately 5 km² and including locations such as Las Victorias, El Trapiche, Casa Blanca, Cuscachapa, and Nuevo Tazumal. Tazumal was already a significant site by the year AD 200, and materials excavated from the area reveal important linkages between Tazumal and southeastern Mesoamerica.

The peak period came from AD 650 to AD 850, as the site strengthened its administrative and cultural ties to the city of Copán. The discovery of a stele and rich offerings at the tombs of governors and ruling families replete with jade, gold and copper alloys, cinnabar, Copador ceramics, pyrite mirrors, bottles for tobacco, and ceremonial axes are a testimony to the power that the site once wielded. A recent reading of a Mayan text on a perfume bottle directly links a leader from Tazumal with rulers in the Kingdom of Copán. Together, these objects demonstrate the political and commercial influence of the Mayan lowland cities.

After the collapse of the Mayans, waves of Pipil migration would flow into Chalchuapa. From AD 900 to AD 1200, Tazumal became an important ceremonial center, incorporating diverse architectural styles, ceramics, and tools from Mexico, and venerating deities from the Mexica pantheon such as Xipe Totec, Tlaloc, and Quetzalcoatl.

There is a museum on the Tazumal site, and trails to the different structures, including a ball-game court and ancient constructions that recount the long history of habitation on the site.

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