• INAH-CINAH Michoacán
    INAH-CINAH Michoacán
  • INAH-DMC
    INAH-DMC
  • INAH-CINAH Michoacán
    INAH-CINAH Michoacán
  • INAH-CINAH Michoacán
    INAH-CINAH Michoacán
  • INAH-DMC
    INAH-DMC
Huandacareo (La Nopalera)
Place of judgement
Originally a typical Cuitzeo Lake settlement, the same site was developed into a seat of public administration for the Tarascan state, where justice was imparted, rituals were celebrated and rulers were buried, and therefore it did not have a large population.
About the site

Huandacareo, or “La Nopalera,” is located on a hill to the northeast of Cuitzeo Lake. An important aspect of its construction were the earthworks needed to form its retaining walls, and a large amount of infill  material also had to be moved. This is an excellent example of maximizing available land, since although the walls we can see—especially in the southeastern sector—might not seem to serve any purpose today, they actually prevented the collapse of the heavy surface structures they were supporting. Furthermore, this would also have required a large workforce to construct these spaces.

Archeological work has revealed that there were at least two very distinct stages of occupation of the area. During the first period, La Nopalera was a typical Cuitzeo lakeside settlement; in other words, it had a small population without any connection to a state or city with power over the area. However, the site preserves elements indicating architectural influence from the Bajío region, such as the sunken patio and various decorated works of pottery. Burial sites also were found in the southwestern sector, with pottery showing patterns and motifs inspired by Teotihuacan, the mighty metropolis of central Mexico, and some of the buried people were found to be wearing similar clothes to those worn by inhabitants of the aforesaid city. This indicates that the region was a melting pot for a number of different cultural traditions which maintained their own identities.

Early in the second millennium AD, La Nopalera began to be used as a seat of government for the Tarascan state; the spaces were modified in a number of ways, different methods were used for the burials, and new technologies began to appear, as shown by the use of copper. Archeological records reveal that the site had been abandoned for some time before being altered by its new occupants.

600-1530

Posclásico Tardío
1200-1521

Posclásico Tardío

Did you know...
  • Archeological work has revealed the remains of almost 100 people.
  • Among the cists (burial chambers made using four slabs for the sides, and a fifth for a lid) in the Patio de las Tumbas ("Burial Courtyard"), a channel made with blocks of high-quality cantera stone was found.
  • Tumba 3 is the cist tomb found closest to the surface. It contained pottery belonging to a more ancient cultural tradition, although a Tarascan vessel was also found, seemingly having been placed there at some later date, when the Tarascan groups reoccupied the site.
  • The "Relación de Michoacán" is a written account that mentions that, upon the death of the lords, it was customary to sacrifice individuals in order to use them as a "bed," on top of which the ruler’s body would be placed.
  • Changes in the burial methods (funerary rites) are an important means of identifying changes within societies.
Practical information
Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs. Maximum capacity 50 people at time

$45.00 pesos


  • Extra fee for video cameras
  • Extra fee for photo cameras
  • Extra fee for professional cameras
  • Sundays free for Mexican citizens
  • Free entrance for Mexicans under 13 years old
  • Free entrance for Mexican students and teachers
  • Free entrance for Mexican senior citizens
Se localiza al noroeste del Lago de Cuitzeo, Michoacán.

From Morelia, take Federal Highway 43 Morelia-Cuitzeo and turn off on highway 27 towards Cuitzeo-Puruándiro; at km 16.5, follow the road that leads to Huandacareo and La Nopalera.

Services
  • Accesibilidad
  • Estacionamiento
  • Módulo de información
  • Sanitarios
  • Visitas guiadas
  • +52 (443) 313 2650, ext. 248004
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Directory
Jefe de la Zona Arqueológica
José Miguel Cabrera Arcos
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+52 (443) 313 2650, ext. 248004
1741
263_A_000
263_B_huandacareo_01
INAH-CINAH Michoacán
263_B_huandacareo_02
INAH-DMC
263_B_huandacareo_03
INAH-CINAH Michoacán
263_B_huandacareo_04
INAH-CINAH Michoacán
263_B_huandacareo_05
INAH-DMC
Occidente
Asentamiento típico del área del lago de Cuitzeo en su origen, se convirtió en un lugar de índole pública para la administración del Señorío Tarasco, la impartición de justicia, la celebración de rituales y el enterramiento de líderes, por lo que no albergó una gran población.
Originally a typical Cuitzeo Lake settlement, the same site was developed into a seat of public administration for the Tarascan state, where justice was imparted, rituals were celebrated and rulers were buried, and therefore it did not have a large population.
Lugar de juicios
Place of judgement

LEGAL NOTICE

The contents of this website belong to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, and may be downloaded and shared without alterations, provided that the author is acknowledged and if is not for commercial purposes.

Footer MediatecaINAH

Guardar
Lugares INAH

Idioma