Tlatelolco Archaeological Site

north side of tlatelolco archaeological site
Photo: Thelmadatter on Wikimedia Commons


After the Templo Mayor site, the Tlatelolco archaeological site is probably the next most important in the city. Centered on the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, it’s one of the oldest sites in the city. Officially founded in 1338, the people of Tlatelolco are said to have left Tenochtitlan at that time to start Tlatelolco, but excavations have shown many parts of the area to be of even earlier origins.

Digs here have yielded thousands of objects and enough information to piece much of what life there was like. As recently as 2009, a mass grave of some 49 bodies was found. Ritually arranged, the deceased are believed to have perished during battles with the Spanish in 1523.

Gengis Kanhg based in INAH work (from Wikimedia Commons)


The legend for the image above is as follows. 1) Temple of Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, 2) Overlapping circular altars, 3) Tzompantli Altar of the south courtyard, 4) Calendar temple, 5) The Palace, 6) Temple of the Paintings, 7) Major Temple – Phase II, 8) Stages of construction of the Major Temple, 9) The lovers of Tlatelolco, 10) West Platform, 11) The Great Basement, 12) Road Tepeyac, 13) Northern boundary of the enclosure, 14) North Tzomplantli altar, 15) College of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco16) Plaza de las Tres Culturas17) Zona Chica, 18) Towards Tecpan and 19) Caja de agua, mural painting of 1536.

Admission to the site grounds is free and they’re open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Museo de Tlatelolco (mx$20) is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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