Tazumal archaeological site is located in the city of Chalchuapa, department of Santa Ana, just over an hour away from San Salvador. The area of Chalchuapa constitutes an archaeological zone integrated by several recognized sites, such as Tazumal, Casa Blanca, El Trapiche and the Laguna de Cuscachapa. The occupation of Tazumal took place from 1200 B.C. Its largest structure measures 24 meters in height, has twelve steps or platforms, and tombs with more than 116 vessels, jade jewelry, “mirrors” of iron pyrite, ball game devices and ceramics in the shape of lizards were found in the site. Also, the Stone of the Victories is found in Tazumal, which consists of a monolith of Olmec influence that presents four different petro-engravings on its four sides, dated around 700 B.C.
Among the most important findings of Tazumal is the Virgin of Tazumal, which was found in 1892 by the historian Santiago Barberena, who moved it to the National Museum; and, the so-called Chac-Mool, which was found in the now called Laguna Seca de Chalchuapa.
Tazumal was formally researched in 1940 by archaeologist Stanley Boggs, who identified 13 structures, from small platforms to the large mound, with 24 meters in height. At that time, Tazumal experienced damage related to its proximity to the urban center of Chalchuapa, where soil was extracted from the structures to make adobe bricks, and a water tank was built on the main mound. In 1942, the first of 12 research seasons began. During that same period, Boggs carried out conservation and reconstruction works in Structures 1 and 2, in which he used cement. The magnitude of this reconstruction and the use of cement were seriously criticized, but it is evident that the alternative at that time was not to allow Tazumal to continue being destroyed.
The Tazumal site is an unmissable destination for archeology lovers. It offers a museum and local guides. The Stanley Boggs Museum describes the housing sequence of pre-Hispanic cultures of the Pre-classic, Classic, and Post-classic periods, and presents the different sites that make up the archaeological area of Chalchuapa, such as: El Trapiche, Laguna Cuscachapa, Las Victorias, Casa Blanca, Laguna Seca, and Grupo Peñate.
Entrance Fee: Residents: US$1.00 / Foreigners: US$3.00
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