MAJOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: PreClassic to PostClassic
XOCHICALCO (circa A.D. 700-1000)
Like Cacaxtla, Xochicalco rose to power in Teotihuacáns wake during the Late Classic era to monopolize trade between the Basin of México, Morelos, and possibly Oaxaca - if the similarities in architectural style and pictographic symbolism are any indication. Most surprising are relief carvings that appear to be derived from Classic Maya style. Xochicalco was constructed along a string of defensively terraced hills. The central ceremonial center served as the hub of a network of stone-surfaced causeways and ramps linking outlying components of the community. Altogether the population may have exceeded 20,000.
The most striking feature of Xochicalco is the Temple of the Plumed Serpent named for the remarkable creature carved in relief across the sides of the talud or sloped lower wall. Within the undulations of the serpent are depictions of seated personages resembling images of Maya lords incised on jade plaques that were traded throughout Mesoamerica. Click on Image for more detail.
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