FOURTH AND FINAL DAY
Guachimontones is an archaeological site that is located an hour away from Guadalajara. You drive there by taking the road to Tepic, the deviation to Tequila by freeway and then must continue to Tala and finally to Teuchitlán. The site is open from 9 am to 6 or 7 pm, depending on summer / winter.
The geographical focus of this research is the rich valley and lake zones surrounding the Volcan de Tequila, in the central-west sector of the State of Jalisco. Within that zone, the first experiments of civilized and urbanized life-ways developed within the western-most areas of the Mesoamerican world system. We have called this first experiment in complex social organization the Teuchitlan Tradition, the name being taken from the town nearest the greatest and most monumental of the Tradition's precincts: the Guachimontones. Dating from its initial phase, around 800 aC, and lasting till around 450 dC, the peak period of cultural development and social complexity was attained between 350 aC to 350 dC. During that time span, urbanism was accompanied by a signal type of circular ceremonial architecture, unique in the world repertoire, the construction of a vast system of marsh gardens (or chinampas), monumental ball-courts, great shaft-tombs for the social system's elites, obsidian mining on an impressive scale, and craft specialization in figurines, shell-work, obsidian, and ceramics. The urbanism was organized around a system of hieratically structured wards, or barrios, each of which had ceremonial precincts and residential zones of varying sizes.
While the core of this early civilization was restricted to the area around the Volcan de Tequila, the social system was expansive. Its signal architecture can be found through-out the State of Jalisco, in Nayarit, south-central Sinaloa, southern Zacatecas, northern-most Michoacan, Guanajuato, and Colima. This territorial expanse is impressive, equal in size to the expanses covered by other early civilizations with the Mesoamerica world system, such as the partially contemporary Olmec and the slightly later Teotihuacan system. The Teuchitlan Tradition, however, did not draw its inspiration from Central or eastern Mesoamerica, as there is little or no evidence of contacts with those zones despite elements of shared iconography, which are universal to the entire world system. The Tradition faced the Pacific Ocean, and its contacts were along that coast. All of these characteristics and items will be discussed in detail within the pages of this web site.
Among the accomplishments of the PAT is the documentation of another early hearth of civilization within the Mesoamerica world system, marked by vibrant cultural attainments in architecture, figurines, ceramics, and other crafts. The old view, now simply a dogma, that western Mexico had no complex cultures of note, and when it became civilized around 900 dC it was due to influences from Central Mexico, can no longer be maintained. With approximately 250,000 visitors each year to the Guachimontones (about 30% of which are foreign tourists).
Next we went to Tequila where we visited a small family operation. We were shown how Tequila was made and was given samples of the different strengths and liquors. I didn’t know that there was that many from Irish coffee to Peach and many in between?
By the time we were done with tour of the Tequila plant we were off to eat dinner. Noe took us to this quaint family restaurant that was outside the front of their house. I had the best taco’s there, clean and tasty.
I would like to thank Noe for a wonderful tour.
Well, the days are up and my daughter will be leaving in the early morning hours. Had the best time, but as a mother it is always hard to say my goodbyes. But I will have many more good times here in Mexico with her.