In Jalisco, there are more than 1,500 archaeological sites registered with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), although it is still difficult to determine how many exist since anything from an isolated pre-Hispanic material to an architectural complex is considered an "archaeological site".
That is to say, if a ceramic vestige or a piece of sherds is found that shows a human activity that took place in the place, it is considered a site of this nature. However, some complexes are currently facing research, intervention, and consolidation processes. The following are the most emblematic ones in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
The Ixtépete or Iztepete
The Ixtépete is located south of the municipality of Zapopan. The area protected as an ecological park is 5 hectares, but it is thought that the total area of the settlement was much larger. Its most striking feature is the largest pyramid, 20 meters long and 1.83 meters high, which is similar to the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan.
It is located within the Metropolitan Zone of Guadalajara in Zapopan, next to the Universidad Tec Milenio Zapopan, on a hill. It is made up of seven mounds about seven meters high that frame plazas at different levels and structures built of stone, sand, and adobe with painted stucco. The bodies of the structures are formed by large slopes and boards. According to scholars, it is believed to have been a cemetery dating from the Classic Period, between 500 and 700 AD.
Its first settlers were Nahua with Toltec influence. In El Arenal, an important Ceremonial Center, you can observe three circular buildings of the type of constructions made by the Guachimontones and an area of monumental shaft tombs. These burials date from 300 to 900 B.C. They have a depth of approximately 15 m and have multiple bedrooms of regular size, these were made for the members of the highest lineage.
Also, in the municipality of Etzatlan, you can visit El Palacio de Ocomo, which consists of the most monumental and best-preserved structure within a site of almost 400 hectares of extension; there are remains of terraces, sunken patios, pyramids, and platforms.
Guachimontones (Tyrian Tombs)
The ceremonial center and ancient pre-Hispanic settlement are located in Teuchitlán, approximately one hour west of Guadalajara. It includes several constructions with a peculiar architectural style, among them several stepped conical mounds or pyramids surrounded by circular patios, an amphitheater, some terraces, one of the largest ball games in Mesoamerica and the characteristic Tumbas de Tiro (Shooting Tombs).
In an aerial view, you can appreciate the perfect circle shape of its ceremonial building and its floors are an exact calendar of 52 years. In the center of the structure, there is a long hole, where possibly a pole was placed, from which the priests held on and swayed from side to side simulating the flight of a bird as an offering to the God of the wind Ehecatl. Schedule: Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Find out more about Guachimontones here.