El Tlatoani, the majestic archaeological zone of Tlayacapan 


The Tlatoani is located on top of a large rock in the town of Tlayacapan, Morelos. It is a place that preserves the vestiges of a human settlement, whose great boom occurred between the years 900 and 1200 of our eras. 

The investigations that are carried out in this archaeological zone, from 2012 to date, are extremely relevant due to the information they provide about the “Early Postclassic” period.  

It is important to point out that before El Tlatoani, in the state of Morelos, there was no research on any archaeological zone from the same period. 

The Mexican philologist, Cecilio Agustín Robelo, was the one who reported this archaeological zone in the year 1885. Although it was not until 2012 when intensive archaeological investigations began by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). 

The pyramid that is part of the vestiges of this civilization is located at the top of Cerro del Tlatoani. It can be accessed through a path that crosses the abundant vegetation of the area. 

The Tlatoani and its peak 

Tlatoani comes from the Nahuatl word tlahtoani, which in English means “who speaks” or “speaker”. This word is the eventual form of the verb tlahtoa, which refers to “say something”, but in the sense of commanding or the one who has authority. 

For this reason, this term was used to designate the rulers of the cities of Mesoamerica that were inhabited by Nahuatl-speaking peoples. 

The ridge on which this site is located was probably relevant during the Early Postclassic period. This is due to the relationship that the place maintains with the ritual landscape and the movement of the celestial bodies. 

From the top of this great rock you can see the dawn at the beginning of the day, exactly behind the Sierra Nevada. In the same way, it is estimated that it was relevant to establish the agricultural cycle, since from that height the route that the Earth makes around the Sun during the year can be observed. 

On the other hand, due to the vestiges found in the ruins of this civilization, it is possible that the temple on top of Cerro del Tlatoani was dedicated to Tlaloc, God of rain. 

The investigations also point out that, prior to the construction of the building on top of the rock, rituals linked to aquatic elements and fertility were carried out. The petroglyphs found in some excavations testify to this. 

This archaeological zone is one more jewel about the history of our ancestors. To know it you can venture to climb this majestic hill. 

How to get to El Tlatoani? 

To get to these ruins from Mexico City you can take a bus to Cuernavaca. Other options are to take one of the buses that go to Cuautla. 

If you decide to go by car, you can take highway 113 (Xomilco-Oaxtepec), in the direction of Oaxtepec and you will arrive at the town of Tlayacapan. 

We suggest that if you decide to venture to know this archaeological zone, you take comfortable clothes with you, as well as suitable footwear for walking along the paths of the hill. 

The Tlatoani is open from Friday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Source: Mexico Desconocido