Monday, June 18, 2012

Cerro Toloche

 Two weeks ago, Julie and I visited the archaeological project at Cerro Toloche, just north of the center of Toluca. The project has finished a topographic mapping of the hill, surveyed the surface for artifacts, and are currently digging systematic test pits across the whole hill.  Daniel Granados, who is the field director for the project, took our survey methods into consideration when he was developing his own, so hopefully we will be able to compare the two datasets.  They plan start more extensive excavations this fall.

Toluca from the top of Cerro Toloche.  Note the location of the cathedral.

Cerro Toloche was the center of Tollocan, or prehispanic Toluca.  The site is only five or six kilometers from Calixtlahuaca and the relationship between the two prior to the Aztec conquest is unclear.  (For that matter, whether the Tollocan existed prior to the Aztec conquest of the region is open to question.) 

From the archaeological evidence so far, it looks like Cerro Toloche had at least two groups of monumental architecture and a primarily Postclassic occupation.  The artifacts the project has recovered so far look very similar to the ones from Calixtlahuaca, with a mix of Matlatzinca and Aztec sherds, plus a few figurines from earlier time periods. Hopefully the excavations will clear up whether there is a single, mixed Matlazinca/Aztec component or a primarily Matlatzinca component followed by a mixed one.