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Nahualac, the pond with a mini universe

On the slopes of the Iztaccíhuatl volcano, in Nahualac, there is a pond that served as a tetzacualco, that is, as a shrine. But the most striking thing about it is that it achieves an optical effect and looks like a miniature model of the universe. And it is said that the creation of the world in the pre-Hispanic era could be represented here.

This place is located in the municipality of Amecameca, in the State of Mexico and is 3,870 meters above sea level.

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Discovering Nahualac

This place was discovered during an archaeological project, after receiving a report of destruction. Then, excavations were carried out with which they managed to recover ceramic fragments, organic remains, among other objects of the place.


Nahualac has two areas; The main one is the pond in which a rectangular temple of stacked stones was built during the pre-Hispanic times.

On the other hand, to the southeast of the structure springs sprout over a valley, where they found pieces associated with Tláloc. According to the theories of INAH researchers, not only was the rain god worshiped, but also other deities of water and land.

A mini universe in the pond

It is also believed that there was a ritual control of the water from nearby springs. In this way, the pond was irrigated to generate a visual effect. Thus, the structure and stones seemed as if they were floating on the mirroring water. For this reason, a theory considers that Nahualac could represent a microcosm and how the world was formed.


Furthermore, the pond reflects the landscape in a unique way. So the researchers consider that it could be related to the ritual meanings of the mirror and the Mesoamerican quincunx. The latter refers to the representation of the four directions of the universe.

And it is that Mesoamerican cultures shared the intention of surrounding ritual architectural elements with water. In fact, according to research, such an element is also seen in Tenochtitlán, in the Citadel or in Teotihuacán.


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