C. Pirámide 7, San Pedro de los Pinos, Benito Juárez, 03800 Ciudad de México, CDMX
There are many areas within Mexico City that hold an important archeological and anthropological value, one of which is situated slightly to the south of the city, in the area known as Mixcoac (the name means “viper in the cloud” in Nahuatl) and has shown evidence of being settled since 900 BC to 1521 AC, since the era of the Teotihuacán people (who built the great pyramids of Teotihuacán on the northeastern part of the city) to the Mexicas, who built Tenochtitlán and received the Spanish invasion in 1519. The village that stood on top of today’s archeological ruins was practically destroyed to its foundations, which is mainly what still stands today. There are remnants of the Temple of Mixcoatl, a pyramid-shaped building to which another building was added built with floors and walls made of cement and tepetate.
For many years the site was closed for study and analysis only, but it was opened to the public only recently in 2019, there’s no cost to wander around the ruins. It became the 194th archeological site open for public access overseen and protected by the National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH), and the 5th one in the area of Mexico City, the other ones being the Templo Mayor in downtown, the ruins of Tlatelolco next to the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, Cerro de la Estrella, and Cuicuilco. During its public unveiling, the archeologist Roberto Gallegos was recognized for his years of work on this site and was given the silver Caballero Águila (“Eagle Knight”) award, the maximum recognition that INAH gives to members of its personnel in gratitude for many years of dedicated work.
The difference between these archaeological sites open to the public like the one in Mixcoac, and those that remain closed to the public, is that the government, through INAH, strives to provide the minimum required for visitors to understand what they’re looking at, normally some type of attention for visitors, a schedule, interpretation services, and if possible, even a museum explaining the value of the site; this is done for the purpose of teaching visitors the intrinsic value that the ruins have, and not just encounter a pile of debris that was left behind many years ago, and that could even face the threat of vandalization just because it hasn’t been well understood.
The Mixcoac Archeological Site is one of the smallest archeological sites in the country with only 7,200 square meters of space, yet it remains like a drop of fresh water in an ocean of concrete, as it’s surrounded by highways and apartment complexes; smog and noise.
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