Cempoala was one of the most important Totonaca settlements in Veracruz


The Totonaca culture or Totonec culture was a civilization that existed among the indigenous Mesoamerican Totonaca people who lived mainly in Veracruz and northern Puebla.

Veracruz has several archaeological sites in addition to El Tajín, one of them is Cempoala. Founded in 900 BC, its importance was such that it became the Totonaca capital and dominated a large part of Veracruz. Here we will share some information about this space full of history, to visit it when the epidemiological traffic light allows it.

Cempoala comes from Nahuatl and means “place of twenty”, referring to the 20 towns that made up the site or to its commercial activity, which took place every 20 days. Another meaning is “abundance of water.” However, the first Spaniards called it “Seville” or “Villaviciosa” due to its size and its buildings.

In Cempoala there are 12 walled systems, number IV stands out since it is the part of the archaeological zone that can be visited next to the site museum, however, this place has a length of more than 40 hectares. Cempoala was one of the most important Totonaca settlements in the Postclassic period since it was a political, administrative, and religious center for about 30 thousand people.

The activities of its inhabitants were developed in agriculture, gathering, hunting, and fishing in the Actopan River. The division of labor was based on sex and age, aspects that defined their participation.

According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), one of the characteristics that stand out the most is a set of staggered rings that, researchers say, were a tool they built to “compute time.”

On the site there are buildings such as the Pimiento, whose exterior decoration refers to human skulls; there is also the Temple of the Caritas and the Temple of the Cross, which still preserves remains of mural paintings; in addition to the Temple of Ehécatl, among others.

The museum has an exhibition of remains of walls, mural paintings and animal figurines, utensils of daily life, among other objects.

To visit this archaeological site, take Highway 180 to the town of Higuera Blanca and from there, follow the road to Villa Zempoala. The archaeological zone is located 35 kilometers southeast of the port of Veracruz.

Source: Sin Embargo

Veracruz Daily Post