• INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH/Hectór Montaño
    INAH/Hectór Montaño
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
  • INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
    INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
El Cóporo
On the great road
One of the most important sites in the state of Guanajuato, it developed around a hill of the same name. On the lower level, the architectural complexes were public buildings and houses, those on the hillsides were administrative and residential areas, and at the top there is a ceremonial zone.
About the site
El Cóporo's active period dates from between the years 1 and 1000 AD, reaching its peak between 400 to 600 and declining between 900 to 1000. It is located within the area of the Tunal Grande, delimited to the west by San Luis Potosí, the Jalisco Mountains, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, and to the northeast by Guanajuato. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish named it El Cóporo (“the great road”) due to its abundance of prickly pear cacti.

The settlement’s location was decisive in its development. As well as being made up of grasslands and mountains, it is found between the Cóporo and Gotas rivers and protected by two canyons.

This archeological area, which is oriented towards the west, is distinguished by its earthen architecture such as its adobe walls, flat mud roofs and wattle and daub structures. The topography was exploited in building the structures, using rocky outcrops for the structures and staircases. The ground was leveled using a system of terraces in order to achieve the stability necessary for building.

The Llano Complex is located at the foot of the hill in the lower section, an area which was surrounded by rooms. Here, two adobe fireplaces, milling instruments and pots were found. At the peak, the ceremonial Cóporo Complex is located; the natural surroundings were exploited to make this a sacred space. Finally, in the vicinity of the hill is the Gotas Complex, where archeologists found a shrine.

Most notably in the staircases, petroglyphs are visible with geometric designs and animal symbols. Circular spirals (linked to water) and quadrangular spirals (linked to fire) both appear frequently. The petroglyph in the Cóporo Complex is also very noteworthy. It consists of a triangular spiral pointing to the north, which suggests that the settlers carefully observed the movements of the sky.
1 - 1000

Clásico Temprano a Clásico Tardío
400 - 600

Preclásico Tardío a Clásico Temprano

Did you know...
  • This is the only site belonging to the Tunal Grande culture which is open to the public.
  • Accompanied by the Purépecha people who provided names for the places they encountered, the Spanish decided to give the name "El Cóporo" to this area where groups of Chichimeca and Huachichile people lived, based on the hill of the same name.
An exert point of view
Ana Ruth Villalpando Alba
Ana Ruth Villalpando Alba
Centro INAH Guanajuato
Archeological site
El Cóporo
Practical information
Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00

$39.00 pesos adults; $12.00 pesos children


  • No Smoking
  • No entry with food
  • Pets not allowed
Se localiza en el municipio de Ocampo, a 60 km de León, Guanajuato.

From the city of Ocampo, take the state highway to León, Guanajuato. The exit for El Torreón is approximately 13 km further on, to the left and the site is 6 km ahead.

Services
  • Estacionamiento
  • Sanitarios
  • +52 (473) 733 0857
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Directory
Responsable
Ana Ruth Villalpando Alva
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (473) 733 0858, ext. 208003
1721
337_A_000
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_01
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
El_Cporo_Foto_Hctor_Montao_INAH
INAH/Hectór Montaño
337_A_el_coporo_02
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
Coporo-2
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_03
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_05
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_06
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_07
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_08
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_09
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
337_A_el_coporo_10
INAH-Mediateca/Teresa Galindo
Occidente
Uno de los sitios más importantes del estado de Guanajuato, se desarrolló alrededor del cerro del mismo nombre. Los conjuntos arquitectónicos de la parte baja albergaban áreas públicas y viviendas; los de las laderas, espacios administrativos y residencias, y la cima, una zona ceremonial.
One of the most important sites in the state of Guanajuato, it developed around a hill of the same name. On the lower level, the architectural complexes were public buildings and houses, those on the hillsides were administrative and residential areas, and at the top there is a ceremonial zone.
Sobre el gran camino
On the great road

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