In 1962, archaeologist Roberto Gallegos (guarded from hostile residents by armed soldiers) uncovered a pair of unopened tombs beneath the summit of the Zaachila  pyramid. They yielded a trove of polychrome pottery, gold jewelry (including a ring still on a left hand), and jade fan handles. Tomb 1 descends via a steep staircase to an entrance decorated with a pair of cat-motif heads.
On the antechamber walls a few steps farther are depictions of owls and a pair of personages (perhaps former occupants) inscribed respectively with the name-dates 5-Flower and 9-Flower. Do not miss the bas-reliefs on the tomb’s back wall that depict a man whose torso is covered with a turtle shell. (Tomb 2, although open for inspection, contains no remaining sculptures or inscriptions.)
Hint: The narrow tomb staircase is negotiable by only a few persons at a time and often requires an hour for a tour-bus crowd to inspect it. Rather than waste your market time standing in line, go downhill, stroll around the market, and return when the line is smaller. If driving, arrive early, around 9 a.m. on Thursday, to avoid tour-bus crowds. Return in early afternoon, allowing time to visit Cuilapan and Arrazola .