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Ancient City, Tampoc Of Mesoamerica

Updated on July 30, 2012
Water gate is hand carved and known as Monument 32 or Moon Calendar
Water gate is hand carved and known as Monument 32 or Moon Calendar | Source

In 2007, I was given the beautiful opportunity to see the east side of the country of Mexico, from Veracruz, Xalapa to Tampico. Though all these places gave way to wonderful landscapes and experiences, it was the historic site, located in San Luis, Potosi State, MX, that has a piece of my heart. Known as Tampoc, this is an ancient village of the Huasteca region that dates back to pre Hispanic culture of the Olmec People. It is now the oldest known Mesoamerica culture. It is theorized to be larger than Teotihuacan, the pyramids of Mexico City and it lays claim to the Tamtoc Monument 32, better known as the Moon Calendar. This piece is said to be even more advanced than the Mayan/Aztec Calendar. This is the ancient city Tampoc of Mesoamerica

In the archeologist world, Tampoc is a new and exciting discovery. Archeologist study this Megalithic site and discovered many of the traditions that have influenced the cultures throughout the Americas, have here their beginning, such as; water purification, sweat lodge above a spring and river stones lining ceremonial circles. It was first in the 1960s that attention was given to Tamtoc, but not until 2005, did archeologist Guillermo Ahuja come across the Moon Calendar. From here, he dubbed Tamtoc, the “urban embryo”. As the scholars’ study of this Monument 32 continues, it is shaping up to represent the essence of water and the life that flows from this quenching source. The Moon Calendar belongs to a water culture. Makes me think of those tales of Atlantis.

When you first approach the land, that is located near the banks of the Rio Tampaon River, you see a rise of a mountain like hill among the plain. A road spirials up to the open top, revealing the huge layout of an ancient village, nestles around several springs. Natural plateaus rise and fall across the expanse, all lined with walls and steps of river stones. Tamtoc, in the Huasteca language, translate as, “place of water clouds”.

Tucked among a small grove of trees, is a spring with a stone slab as a gate to a hydraulic system created to irrigate the La Huasteca, the village. It is on this stone gate, that the Moon Calendar is inscribed in a divine codex, overlooking the pool of water that she has harnessed. Since my visit in 2007, this Monument has been removed to the museum for preservation and study purposes. It saddens me a bit, for it to be removed from its sacred place that it had resided for possibly 2500 years!

The larger structures of slab stones are traced back to the Tanchipa Mountains, and moved through jungles and may have been transported by the Rio Tampaon, whose meaning is, “place of deep black water”. This Moon Calendar is one such stone. It is still not certain as to whether the stone was carved before moving or carved on the spot at the spring. But there is no doubt from this calendar and other structures of the village, that fertility was of importance and closely related to water, lifeblood.

Today the land plays host to a museum which houses most of the artifacts that are located there. Archeologist are still combing the area and making new discoveries with each turn. After walking through the streamlined exhibits, you walk outside to the open fields and begin the journey back into the ages of the Mexica People.

One of the most recent and interesting discoveries are the cluster of graves near the moon calendar stone and spring. These graves are bones of all woman, no men! As the professionals study the site, they are perplexed by some of the findings that contradict their original thinking of Mesoamerica. At first they believed this site was a full functioning city with both man and woman, but now they wonder were are the graves of the men?

It is quite possible that this ancient city, Tampoc of Mesoamerica, was a place for women to study the art of their faith and spirituality, like a monastery if you will. There are vast tracks of the land yet to explore and new twists to the story of these people’s history are yet to unfold for us to learn. If you travel the countryside of Mexico, this is one place to mark on your map as a “must stop and see”. It takes a good two hours to see all that has been unearthed, but well worth the trip!


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    • backporchstories profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Kentucky

      I hope to go here again someday! Loved the vibrations there.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      History is fascinating, isn't it? Great job, and I am happy for your ability to travel to such a wonderful place.


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