Mas México USA

Cuahilama, archaeological treasure in Xochimilco

In the ‘place of flowers’, that is, in Xochimilco, there is an archaeological area that few know. This is Cuahilama, which stands out for its engravings or petroglyphs and enjoys a great cultural legacy. However, little by little it has been forgotten.

The name of this hill means ‘elder’s forest’. And it covers 3 kilometers, from the towns of Santa Cruz Acalpixa, San Gregorio Atlapulco, to San Bartolomé Xicomulco.

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Xochimilca heritage

In Xochimilco there were 12 pre-Hispanic tribes. Between 1500 and 200 BC they inhabited villages of Cuicuilco, Tlatilco and Copilco. Then, for the year 700 AD, the owners of this place were the Teotihuacans. But, by 1254, the Xochimilcas arrived to found just what now know as Santa Cruz Acalpixa.


This is how the first lord of Xochimilco, Acatonalli, began his domain on the hill of Cuahilama. Here there was also the presence of Mexica, as they had conflicts with the Xochimilcas.

Thanks to the footprint left by various civilizations, Xochimilco is culturally rich. For this reason, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Those who populated Cuahilama were mainly engaged in agriculture, although there was a time of severe food shortages. Thus the famous chinampas were born, as a method of cultivation and they became specialists on this.

The enigmas of Cuahuilama

Here there is an observatory, a road to climb the highest part of the hill. Its function was only for ceremonial rituals. In addition, it is reported that there are foundations of priestly quarters and a military camp, where the Xochimilcas trained.


And in the engravings and petroglyphs found on the hill, astrological elements of the worldview of the people of Acalpixa are distinguished.

This archaeological zone of Cuahilama, despite its richness, has been forgotten over time. And it is in danger because of the growth of urbanization. So it is important to rescue this Xochimilca heritage so full of culture and history.

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