Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures of Tzintzuntzan


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Texture.

Tzintzuntzan was the capital of the Purépecha Empire when the Spanish arrived in 1522. Situated on Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico the character of the indigenous people is clear in every archeological remnant and rock of this fascinating archeological site.

The main attraction is the five yácatas or semi-circular pyramids that are well organized and face out over the lake area.

Tzintzuntzan has the largest of the Purépecha kingdom’s monumental structures. The two most impressive structures here are composed of the five yácata pyramids and the Grand Platform on which they rest.

The core of each of these structures is an arrangement of piled-up rubble which was then faced with stone slabs.
The yácatas were built over older, more traditional pyramidal structures from the first stage of the site’s occupation.
But, what I found most fascinating were the course stone slabs decorated with spirals, circles and other geometric designs and petroglyphs.The appearance of the petroglyphs took on a patina glow, refining their beauty and patterns representing their culture.
In this ceremonial center, the king, or “canonic,” functioned as a messenger of the gods. He represented the soul of his indigenous followers and here a great number of human sacrifices were made. Usually, they were prisoners of war and vindicated the gods with their sacrifices.
The coloration, the hues, the tints, and symbols carved into the ancient slabs amazed me!
This was the essence of the ancient ones!
On each of the yácatas was a temple made of wood, where the most important rites of the Purépecha people and government took place, including burials, of which about sixty have been found. Their spirits whisper in ceremonial center called Taríaran or “House of the Wind.”The yácatas are considered one of the most emblematic sites of the area, the foundation of their culture. I was thrilled to visit this historical archeological site and gain a better understanding of the rich culture of the Purépecha people. 

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13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures of Tzintzuntzan

  1. Fascinating post Debbie, and certainly plenty of textures 🙂 And I love the photo at the top of the post, it looks like you are travelling towards the ‘Lost World’, that volcanoe is amazing!! 🙂

  2. Beautiful pyramids all round, and so lovely to see them still standing tall today. Agree that those stone slabs are fascinating, with all those shapes and geometric designs. They must all mean something and have their significance – significant of a culture or community, or perhaps during a certain moment in history. Fascinating.

  3. Thanks for the introduction to the Purepecha people and their marvelous pyramids. Probably like everyone else, I wonder about the meaning behind the simple carved symbols and marvel at what these people were able to do without machinery. Great pics Debbie and I love the blooming jacarandas in the background! Anita

    • Aren’t the jacarandas magnificent? I took photos of every petroglyph carved into the slabs. It took me over an hour to find them all. Meanwhile Ron and our friends wondered where I was and came looking for me! They thought maybe I had been sacrificed! Jeje

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