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FORT COLLINS - A Colorado State University archaeologist and his team have discovered the ruins of an ancient urban center in the heart of the Purépecha Empire in Lake Pátzcuaro Basin, located in the central Mexican state of Michoacán.
At the time of European contact, the Purépecha Empire - sometimes called the Tarascan Empire - controlled much of western Mexico with a mutually fortified frontier shared with their rivals, the Aztecs to the east.
The settlement may be as large as 5 square kilometers and dates to A.D. 1000-1520. Initial results suggest the peak occupation of the newly discovered urban center occurred just prior to the formation of the Purépecha Empire, further indicating that results from the study may yield new clues regarding the empire’s formation.
believe that the lake is the place where the barrier between life and death is the thinnest.
Among the fertile volcanoes of Michoacan Lumholtz came across the Purepecha people, who were called Tarascan by the Spanish. Enemies of the Aztecs, the Tarascans flourished from 1100 A.D. to 1530 A.D. Their origins are still a puzzle, along with their stirrup-shaped, long-necked bottles and round temples called Yacatas. The center of the Tarascan Empire was Lake Patzcuaro and the nearby site of Tzintzuntzan, now a much-visited archaeological site (Map of area). After the Conquest, Spanish missionaries organized the Tarascan Empire into a series of experimental Utopian craft-oriented villages, and today the Lake Patzcuaro area abounds with craftspeople skilled in wood, copper, cloth and clay.
Originally posted by Jomina
I just love this stuff Wonder why the locals believe that about the area...
Originally posted by Chamberf=6
reply to post by kiwifoot
How do you pronounce their civilazation? Turashcans?
just kidding, Cool find and post. Interesting how much of the past is still yet to be discovered....
Originally posted by Son of Will
Also it makes me think of how many as-yet undiscovered civilizations might still be out there just under our noses.
Tarascan (təräˈskən) [key], Native Americans of the state of Michoacán, Mexico. Their language has no known relation to other languages, and their history prior to the 16th cent. is poorly understood. The polity present at the time of the Spanish conquest (1521) had roughly the same territorial outline as the contemporary state of Michoacán, which it successfully defended against a protracted and bloody Aztec attack in the year 1479. Their capital, Tzintzuntzán [place of the hummingbirds], was located on the shore of Lake Pátzcuaro and had a population of 25,000 to 35,000. Peculiar to Tarascan culture were T-shaped pyramids, rising in terraces and faced with stone slabs without mortar. They were skilled weavers, and were famous for their feathered mosaics made from hummingbird plumage. Most of the over 100,000 contemporary Tarascans are impoverished residents of small rural communities who supplement agricultural production with craft specializations (e.g., weaving, embroidery, woodworking, and lacquerware) and seasonal migration to the United States.
Read more: Tarascan | Infoplease.com www.infoplease.com...
Like the Aztecs, the Tarascans had many deities, each with their own attributes, requirements, sacred colors, associated animals, and calendrical days. The most ancient and revered Tarascan deity was Curicaueri, the fire god. A Tarascan origin myth tells the story of how Curicaueri and his brother gods founded the settlements around Lake Pátzcuaro. The pre-Columbian Tarascans believed themselves to be Curicaueri's descendants. When rulers and priests dressed in their ritual finery and performed ceremonial dances, they were affirming the connection to their ancestor gods.
The Aztecs attempted more than once to conquer the Tarascan lands, but never attained their goal. This left the Aztecs with a major rival on their western border. In combat they repeatedly suffered grievous losses to the Tarascan armies. For example, in 1478 the ruling Aztec lord, Axayacatl, marched against the Tarascans. He found his army of 24,000 confronted by an opposing force of more than 40,000 Tarascan warriors. A ferocious battle went on all day. Many of the Aztec warriors were badly wounded by arrows, stones, spears, and sword thrusts. The following day, the Aztecs were forced to retreat, having suffered the loss of more than half of their elite warriors.
In the region of Zacapu, Curicaueri is referred to as Querenda-angapeti, which means "the penalty which is in the Temple".
According to the mythology of the Purépecha culture - particularly of the clan uacusecha- Curicaueri is considered the most ancient deity and which gave rise to the rest of the gods. The Sun is known as a son of Caricaueri and dies every day in the West as a victim of the night, being banished by the young sun or Curicaueri grandson. Thus combines the Trinity of the fire, which is interpreted in a similar way with three stars in the constellation of Taurus: Aldebaran, Beta and gamma. In the sky three stars resemble the parahtacuqua, which is an instrument used by the Purépecha to light the fire.
reply to post by Chamberf=6
That was a RACIST comment...
Grow up fool...!
(My real ID)