Residents of a small town in the Mixtec region of Puebla have found two pre-Hispanic stone monuments and scores of glyphs on the peak of a nearby rocky hill.
Townsfolk in Santa Cruz Huehuepiaxtla, a town about 150 kilometers southwest of Puebla city in the municipality of Axutla, found two stelae, or etched stone columns, on the summit of the Cerro de la Peña as well as 87 engraved glyphs on its stone floor and walls.
Believed to have been carved by Zapotec or Teotihuacán people, the archaeological relics have been dated to about 500 AD. Archaeologists believe that the site at which they were found was dedicated to a god of the underworld.
The best preserved stelae shows a person with horns and claws dressed in a loincloth. There are also stones engraved with images of an iguana, a bird that appears to be an eagle and a dios murciélago, or bat god, in the form of a woman.
Remains of pre-Hispanic ceramic vessels have also been found on the rocky path to the hill’s summit. Getting to the top is an arduous climb of about 2 1/2 hours.
José Alfredo Arellanes, a researcher with the National Institute of Anthropology and History, told the news agency EFE that initial studies have concluded that there were once seven pyramids at the site as well as a ball court.
“When we reached the summit, we could see the ceremonial area; in other words, where the temples and palaces of the rulers were located,” he said.
Arellanes said that some of the engraved stones feature logographic Mixtec writing known as escritura ñuiñe.
Aracely García, a municipal councilor, told EFE that it is a source of pride to have so much pre-Hispanic history in the area.
“Images carved in stones is what makes the place special and that’s why we invite people to visit our archaeological center, better known as Cerro de la Peña.”
Source: El Universal (sp)