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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
El Pueblito in Municipality of La Corregidora, Querétaro, Mexico — The Central Highlands
 

El Cerrito ("The Little Hill")

 
 
El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 23, 2017
1. El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker
Inscription.
El Cerrito
Zona de Monumentos Arqueológicos
En época prehispánica El Cerrito fue un importante centro ceremonial, de relevancia en la región. Dentro de este espacio sagrado se construyeron un basamento piramidal, plazas, patios, salas con columnas y altares.

Las investigaciones efectuadas a la fecha permiten establecer tres etapas constructivas. La más antigua entre los anos 700 y 900 d.C., período denominado Epiclásico. En ese momento El Cerrito surge como un gran asentamiento, expresión de una tradición cultural local e independiente. Durante este período se construyeron el Basamento Piramidal y la Plaza de las Esculturas.

La siguiente etapa coloca a El Cerrito como uno de los principales centros ceremoniales mesoamericanos de tradición tolteca, abarcando el período entre los años 900 y 1,200 d.C, esto es el Posclásico Temprano. A partir de este momento la arquitectura integró en su decoración la escultura en piedra. Utilizada para decorar muros y fachadas, funcionó como arte público, en donde se expresó la concepción del mundo de acuerdo a los toltecas. Los coronamientos y las lápidas con relieves de guerreros, personajes históricos, glifos y símbolos, expresan el reconocimiento de Quetzalcóatl como deidad suprema. Principalmente la riqueza escultórica permite comparar en importancia El
An additional El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 23, 2017
2. An additional El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker
This additional marker to the left of the featured marker illustrates how the site of El Cerrito fits into the timeline of other indigenous cultures of Mexico in the area.
Cerrito con otras ciudades toltecas como Tula y Chichén Itzá.

En la última etapa de ocupación, entre los años 1,200 y 1,530 d.C., al parecer únicamente fue ampliada la plataforma del basamemento. Se construyó un gran muro en talud y nuevas escalinatas que cubrieron la etapa anterior. En este proceso es evidente la intención de destruir el pasado tolteca en el sitio, pues la escultura fue reutilizada como relleno o material constructivo. Culturalmente es una etapa en donde nuevos grupos chichimecas norteños pasan a ocupar territorios dejados por los toltecas. Tal poblamiento se prolongó hasta principios del siglo XVII, siendo reconocido como santuario por población chichimeca, otomí y tarasca, asentada en el valle. En su afán de contrarrestar esta tradición prehispánica, los evangelizadores franciscanos depositaron una imagen de la Virgen María dentro del recinto sagrado en 1632, permaneciendo en el sitio por más de 70 años.

Leyenda:
1 Basamento Piramidal
2 Plaza de las Esculturas
3 Altar de los Cráneos
4 Sala de los Cuatro Altares
5 Plaza de la Danza
6 Altar de Obsidianas
7 Plataforma Oriente

English translation:
El Cerrito (“The Little Hill”)
Archaeological Monuments Area
In pre-Hispanic times El Cerrito was an important ceremonial center, of much relevance in the region.
El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 23, 2017
3. El Cerrito ("The Little Hill") Marker
A view of the markers at the site's visitors entrance.
Within this sacred space were built a pyramid on a large base, plazas, courtyards, rooms with columns and altars.

The investigations carried out to date establish three construction periods. The oldest period was between 700 and 900 AD and this period is called the Pre-Classic. At that time El Cerrito emerged as a great settlement as an expression of a localized and independent cultural tradition. During this period the Pyramid and the Plaza of Sculptures were built.

The next stage places El Cerrito as one of the main Mesoamerican ceremonial centers of the Toltec tradition, spanning the period between 900 and 1200 AD. This is the Early Postclassic period. From this moment the architecture of the site began to integrate the use of stone sculptures into its decoration, using them to decorate walls and facades. These sculptures functioned as a type of public art, where the conception of the world according to the Toltecs was expressed. The crowning sculptural elements and tombstones included reliefs of warriors, historical figures, glyphs and symbols, all expressing the recognition of Quetzalcoatl as a supreme deity. The sculptural richness seen here allows a comparison of El Cerrito with other Toltec cities like Tula and Chichén Itzá.

In the last period of occupation, between the years 1200 and 1530, the platform of the base of the pyramid was expanded.
The Pyramid at El Cerrito image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 23, 2017
4. The Pyramid at El Cerrito
A great sloped wall and new staircases were built that covered the constructions of the previous period. In this process the intention appears to have been to destroy or cover up the Toltec past of the site as most of that period’s sculpture was reused as a filler or construction material. Culturally this was a period where new groups of Chichimecs came from further north in order to occupy areas left by the Toltecs. This settlement lasted until the beginning of the 17th century, with Chichimec, Otomí and Tarasca groups considering the area as a type of sanctuary and settling in this valley. In their eagerness to counteract this pre-Hispanic tradition, the Franciscan evangelizers deposited an image of the Virgin Mary within this sacred enclosure in 1632, which remained at the site for more than 70 years.

Legend:
1 Pyramid and base
2 Plaza of the Sculptures
3 Altar of the Skulls
4 Room of the Four Altars
5 Plaza of the Dances
6 Altar of Obsidian
7 Eastern Platform
 
Location. 20° 33.051′ N, 100° 26.488′ W. Marker is in El Pueblito, Querétaro, in Municipality of La Corregidora. Marker can be reached from Calle Miguel Hidalgo just north of Camino al Cerrito, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located at the entrance to the
El Cerrito Visitors Entrance image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 23, 2017
5. El Cerrito Visitors Entrance
The markers are just in front of the guide with the large hat in this view.
El Cerrito Archaeological Site, directly after entering the site by foot from the parking area. Marker is in this post office area: El Pueblito, Querétaro 76915, Mexico.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Plaza of the Dancers (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Altar of the Skulls (approx. 0.2 kilometers away); Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (approx. 0.9 kilometers away); Cornelio Arellano Cárdenas (approx. 1.1 kilometers away); Father Joseph Kentenich (approx. 3.7 kilometers away); The Children Heroes of the Battle of Chapultepec (approx. 5.5 kilometers away); The Parish of Cristo Rey (approx. 5.5 kilometers away); Founding of the Autonomous University of Querétaro (approx. 5.6 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in El Pueblito.
 
Categories. AnthropologyArchitectureMan-Made FeaturesNative Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 24, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 24, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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