XOCHICALCO, Morelos
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Mexican Ruins and Cathedrals
After the fall of Teotihuacan this was one of the leading urban centers on the Central High Plains.  
Xochicalco epitomizes a certain era in Mesoamerican history: the Epiclassic Period (700 - 900 A.D.),
characterized by a marked militarism, migrations, political and economic instability, fortified cities, the
worship of warrior gods like Quetzalcoatl and a mixture of cultures in one place.  In short, a decided
change from former patterns.  One possible reason for the settlement and construction of the site on the
Hill of Xochicalco is that this was a strategic point facilitating the economic and political control of the
Valley of Morelos.  The builders of Xochicalco modified and adapted the high hill by constructing terraces,
which served as a base for temples and pyramids, living areas, great plazas, and ball courts.  They also
carved out tunnels for the observation of the cosmos.  The planning and distribution of the space denotes
a strong class differentiation, as well as a conflictive atmosphere at the site itself and in the surrounding
area.  According to the most recent archaeological excavations, the decline of Xochicalco was possibly
due to an internal revolt.  Evidence for this hypothesis is found in the central area, where luxury objects are
scattered around and sculptures and other sacred objects are mutilated and scattered.  There is also a
great deal of carbon, indicating that there was probably a huge fire.  These conditions are very different
from those in the lower class living areas, where everyday objects and other things are in place,
suggesting that they were abandoned  graudally, without violence.  

EN ESPANOL:  Despues de la caida de Teotihuacan fue uno de los principales centros rectores en el
Altiplano Central.  Por sus caracteristicas, Xochicalco define a un periodo de la historia mesoamericana,
el "Epiclasico", (700-900 d.C).  Este periodo se caracteriza por un marcado militarismo, migraciones,
inestabilidad politica y economica, ciudades forticadas, adoracion de dioses guerreros como
Quetzalcoatl, una mezcla de culturas en un solo lugar; en sintesis un cambio de los patrones anteriores.  
Una de las causas que posiblemente originaron el asentamiento y construccion del Sitio en este lugar
es que el Cerro de Xochicalco se encuentra en un punto estrategico que facilito el control economico y
politico del Valle de Morelos.  Los constructores de Xochicalco modificaron y adaptaron la montana para
construir terrazas sobre las cuales erigieron templos, basamentos piramidales, areas habitacionales,
grandes plazas, juegos de pelota, asi como tuneles que sirvieron para la observacion del cosmos.  La
planificacion y distribucion del espacio denota una fuerte diferencia de clases, asi como un ambiente
conflictivo en el Sitio y su entorno.  El ocaso de Xochicalco segun las ultimas excavaciones
arqueologicas, posiblemente se debio a una revuelta interna.  Las evidencias que se tienen en este
sentido se encuentran en el area central, donde hay una dispersion de objetos lujosos, mutilacion y
dispersion de esculturas y otros elementos sagrados, ademas de una gran cantidad de carbon, lo que
indica que probablemente hubo un gran incendio, esto a diferencia de las areas habitacionales de las
clases inferiores, en donde se encuentran los objetos de uso cotidiano y de otra indole en su lugar, es
decir, que fueron abandonados paulatinamente y sin violencia.  
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The Xochicalco Ruins in the state of Morelos are some of my favorite ruins and pyramids in Central Mexico.
 Xochicalco is located about 35 minutes south of the city of Cuernavaca.  Cuernavaca is located about 50
minutes south of Mexico City and its the largest city in the state of Morelos.  These pyramids don't get nearly
as many visitors as the more famous Teotihuacan pyramids (just north of Mexico City) that feature the
pyramids of  the Sun and Moon, but in my opinion, they are really great and worth a visit.  The view from the
pyramids is incredible and the ruins were built atop a mountain with a wonderful view of a lake.   The site
has a very nice and clean museum which is located about a half mile from the pyramids.  The museum is
also where you pay for the admission to the site.  The site is not located near any sizeable town so there
are no taxis nearby, so just keep that in mind if you decide to take a taxi to get there.  It will take about one
and a half to two hours to properly see all the ruins at the site.  This time does not include time that you
might want to take in order to review the great artifacts that are in the museum.  
Ruinas de Xochicalco
Xochicalco Ruins
Gran Piramide de Xochicalco
The Great Pyramid is the largest structure in Xochicalco.  It is comprised of two levels.  The lower level has
three sections and the upper section has four sections.  This pyramid has a similarity with the Teotihuacan
pyramid base.  It consists of the front side and sides have slopes and stairs and the back half of the
pyramid has only a slope.  The upper section of the pyramid had a flat roofed temple.

EN ESPANOL:  El Gran Piramide es el edificio de mayores dimensiones en Xochicalco.  Consta de dos
niveles: el inferior con tres cuerpos y el superior con cuatro.  Al centro de este ultimo, se aprecian restos
de una edificacion mas antigua.  Este nivel guarda cierta semejanza con los basamentos teotihuacanos:
al frente y mitad de los laterales tiene cuerpos con talud y tablero, mientras que la otra mitad y la posterior
presentan solamente un gran talud.  La parte superior albergaba un templo con techo plano.
XochicalcoRuins
This is one of the ball courts that are at Xochicalco.
Ruins at Xochicalco
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