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City: Chalchuapa


Tazumal is a Pre-Columbian Maya archeological site in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. Tazumal means, "the place where the victims were burned," in K'iche'.

The site is located in the heart of Chalchuapa in the department of Santa Ana, some 60 kilometers from the capital, San Salvador. This zone is within the archaeological area of Chalchuapa, which covers an approximate area of 10 km² and where other archaeological sites such as Pampe, Casa Blanca, Trapiche and Las Victorias are also located. Chalchuapa is a site which shows evidence of being influenced by Copán in Honduras, and also shares some stylistic elements thate are more characteristic of central Mexican sites, such as Teotihuacan and the "Toltec"-style architecture at Tula.[citation needed] Tazumal includes a series of Maya ruins, including ceremonial architecture, that date to about AD 100-1200. The site includes an intricate water drainage system, a few tombs, adjacent minor pyramids, palaces and excavated ritual objects. Tazumal had a long and uninterrupted occupational history, from AD 100 until AD 1200, although its greatest development corresponds to the Classic period (AD 250–900). Around AD 900, the Toltec style pyramid in evidence today was constructed; a large ballcourt was also built at this time. The site was abandoned around AD 1200.

The ruins of Tazumal are considered the most important and best preserved in El Salvador. The artifacts found at Tazumal provide evidence of ancient and active trade between Tazumal and places as far away as Panama and Mexico. The excavated ruins are part of an area covering 10 km² (4 sq mi), much of it buried under the surrounding town. Archaeologists estimate that the first settlements in the area of Chalchuapa date to around 1200 BC.

Tazumal on the map of Chalchuapa

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