Visiting Zona Arqueológica Palacio Atetelco

Hello readers! It’s been a long hiatus, but I’m picking up where we left off, with stories from our 2018 trip to Mexico. My last post was about our trip to Teotihuacan, and this post is about another nearby site.

While the site of Teotihuacan included some housing, it was primarily a centre for celebration, for exchange, and other community based activities. But those who participating in the civic life of Teotihuacan often lived in one of the many apartment complexes in the surrounding area (read more here). Which makes sense, because it took us less than 20 minutes to walk from the Teotihuacan city centre to Palacio Atetelco.

In 2018 Kevin started getting into archaeology, and research for our trips to Mexico and Portugal involved him studying niche blogs and Google Maps satellite views in search of rare sites to visit.

Without too much trouble, he found out about Palacio de Atetelco, just a brief walk down the block.

After finishing up at Teotihuacan, we followed our map and walked through a small, remote neighbourhood on the way to our next adventure.

When we arrived we were greeted by an INAH sign, letting us know that we had indeed found a site recognized and protected by the Mexican government’s institute for history and anthropology. As we entered the property we could see that the researchers were taking their lunch break under a tree, and no one said a word to us as we walked over to and then explored the site. While the site was excavated in the 1940s, it would appear it’s going through an additional exploration and update, possibly to better preserve some sections.

And so we spent approximately an hour exploring the ruins of a housing complex that dates back to between 450 and 650 AD. It is most famous for its well-preserved murals (read more here), which were easy to spot due to their red colouring, though originally they would have included more colours that have since been lost.

Afterwards we walked back through the neighbourhood to the visitors centre for Teotihuacan, where we flagged down an Uber driver and got a ride back into Mexico City for a well-deserved lunch.



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