Expert opinion
Distinctive Features of Plazuelas
Plazuelas is the most important ceremonial center in the southwest of the present-day state of Guanajuato. Through its religious architecture and the sacred landscape surrounding it, the site’s significance and complexity are expressed. Furthermore, its location indicates that it was used as a point of confluence for different trade routes since the pre-Hispanic era.

The site is spread over three hillsides. There are seven buildings distributed along these hillsides and each of them show different architectural styles. This distinguishes Plazuelas as a site where peoples from different cultural traditions lived together. On the eastern hillside, the buildings known as El Cajete, Los Cuitzillos, La Crucita and El Cobre were built. On the western hillside, only a ballgame court has been discovered (oriented from east to west), while on the central hillside, a building of complex design was constructed. It is known locally as Casas Tapadas ("Covered Houses") and is comprised of four pyramidal bases and one hall. To the south of this complex, there is another ballcourt—oriented from north to south—as well as three associated platforms.

More than 1,000 archeological sites have been recorded in Guanajuato, but ballgame courts have been identified in only nine of them. It is therefore important to note that there are two in Plazuelas. It is also worth noting that the markers in the court on the central hillside are not circular, like in other regions, but are actually large sculptures with snake designs. It should be mentioned that this court in Plazuelas is the first one to be refurbished for public use in the state of Guanajuato.

Various symbols alluding to earth, water, vegetation, celestial fire and wind can also be seen. This is evident in the sculptures as well as the ceramics and the architecture. More than 1,200 engraved stones make this site unique. One of them is particularly special as it has depicts a miniature model of the Casas Tapadas building.

Another distinctive feature of Plazuelas is the harmony of the architecture with its environment, as well as the urban layout and the complexity of the buildings.

Finally, the collection of pieces which are exhibited in the site’s museum reveal the signficant level of trade with both nearby and distant regions.
Under translation
Under translation


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