Chiapa de Corzo Archaeological Zone
Archaeologically speaking, the Chiapa de Corzo ruins are one of the most significant sites in central Chiapas, but you’d never know it from looking at its various sections. Clustered in the northeast corner of Chiapa de Corzo, the site receives little attention or priority; one major structure is literally the median of a major intersection.
According to studies, the site was occupied from 1400 B.C. to around A.D. 700, a remarkably long period. It was the region’s most influential settlement in the early Pre-Classic era (800–450 B.C.), controlling trade routes along Río Grijalva and into the highlands. Archaeologists have found artifacts here from Guatemala, El Salvador, Oaxaca, Campeche, Yucatán, Tabasco, and Veracruz.
The site is composed of mostly low platforms and foundations, around 200 in all, scattered over two square kilometers; many homes in this area have unexcavated structures in their backyards. The main visitation area includes Montículo 1 (a six-meter-high pyramidlike structure with remains of a temple on top) and Montículo 5 (a large residential complex); another structure, Montículo 32, is enclosed in a traffic circle at the northeast exit of town, and probably served a ceremonial purpose.
The site was undergoing extensive renovation at the time of research, which hopefully will improve its presentation and accessibility.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition