Archaeologists may have discovered lost settlement of Apancalecan

In an announcement by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), archaeologists may have discovered the lost settlement of Apancalecan in Mexico’s Costa Grande of Guerrero region.

The discovery was made following an inspection carried out on communal land by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico in the municipality of Tecpan de Galeana.

Archaeologists have found a large pre-Hispanic settlement spread over an area of 71.6 acres, which contains an arrangement of 26 mounds centred on a large central mound up to 25 metres in height with a base of 73.5 metres by 60 metres.

Excavations have also found adjacent plazas where altars and two smooth stelae were recorded, in addition to residential areas, ball courts, and elongated structures possibly associated with the storage of water. A study of the ceramic material recovered on the surface suggests that the site was first inhabited during the Classic period around AD 200 to 650.

- Advertisement -

Based on a comparison with historical sources from the 16th century, the researchers suggest that the settlement could correspond with the settlement of Apancalecan, referred to on Plate 18 of the Codex Matrícula de Tributos, a pre-Hispanic document that recorded the tribute paid to the Aztec empire by conquered towns.

At the time, Apancalecan was part of the region of Cihuatlan, which was annexed into the Aztec territories between AD 1497 and AD 1502 by Ahuitzotl, the eighth Aztec ruler. During his reign, Ahuitzotl conquered the Mixtec, Zapotec, and other peoples from Pacific Coast of Mexico down to the western part of Guatemala, more than doubling the lands under Aztec dominance.

Regarding the Nahua meaning of Apancalecan, the word is made up of apan (apantli, ditch water channel), calli (house) and can (locative), which is loosely translated as “Place of the house with water channels”.

Following the Spanish conquest, Apancalecan was renamed to Tequepa, as recorded on a map in AD 1570 by cartographer Abraham Ortelius, however, the location of the settlement was lost until now.


Header Image Credit : INAH

- Advertisement -

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Ring discovery suggests a previously unknown princely family in Southwest Jutland

A ring discovered in Southwest Jutland, Denmark, suggests a previously unknown princely family who had strong connections with the rulers of France.

Submerged evidence of rice cultivation and slavery found in North Carolina

Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) are using side-scan sonar and positioning systems to find evidence of rice cultivation and slavery beneath the depths of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

Study reveals oldest and longest example of Vasconic script

A new study of the 2100-year-old Hand of Irulegi has revealed the oldest and longest example of Vasconic script.

Archaeologists excavate the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä

Archaeologists have excavated the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä, a former Nazi barracks occupied by homeless Finns following the end of WW2.

Archaeologists find 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle

A team of archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City.

Traces of Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais found at foot of Mount Tabor

During excavations near Beit Keshet in Lower Galilee, Israel, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered traces of a market within the historic Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais.

Traces of marketplace from Viking Age found on Klosterøy

Archaeologists from the University of Stavanger have announced the possible discovery of a Viking Age marketplace on the island of Klosterøy in southwestern Norway.

Fragments of Qin and Han Dynasty bamboo slips found in ancient well

Archaeologists have uncovered over 200 fragments of bamboo slips from the Qin and Han Dynasty during excavations in Changsha, China.