Pyramid of El Pueblito

Pyramid of El Pueblito

The Pyramid of El Pueblito, known as "El Cerrito" (little hill) to those living in its immediate surroundings, is an archaeological site in the Mexican State of Querétaro, in the settlement of "El Pueblito", seat of the municipality of Corregidora.

This pyramid, located within the metropolitan area of Santiago de Querétaro, is part of the archaeological zone of "El Cerrito". This site had an important population prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico. During the 1st millennium there were several settlements in the Bajío area, this being one of the most important ruins in the central region of Mexico.

It is presumed that its history stretches back two thousand years, beginning when the first settlers arrived in the valley of the El Pueblito river, an area suitable for agriculture. Some current settlements that were populated during this era include El Pueblito, Santa Bárbara, La Negreta, El Recodo, El Shindó, El Molinito and La Cueva. The people worked the land, dammed the river in order to irrigate their fields and opened roads for communication, making El Cerrito the first nucleus of spiritual and political importance in the region.

The pyramid, similar in size to the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacán, was erected at some time before 1000 AD. Important relics have been found, such as sculptures, tombstones, calendar glyphs and many figurines. For more than a millennium the site was exposed to the climate and negative human intervention, suffering enormously. As late as the twentieth century the area was subject to vandalism and theft: since there was no control over it, visitors could remove whatever they found. It was not until 1995 that Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History ("Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia", INAH) began restoration projects and was able to rescue some articles, which can now be seen in the Regional Museum in Santiago de Querétaro.

In the open space dubbed "Plaza de las Esculturas" (Place of the Sculptures), works have recovered 13 skulls, 18 jaws and numerous teeth and other bones. They correspond to male individuals of between 18 and 35 years of age.

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