Situated southeast of the city of Tamuín, El Consuelo is accessed by federal highway 70 in the direction of the Gulf port of Tampico. At kilometer 284 it connects with state highway 170. The site entrance is six kilometers down on state highway 170.
The archaeological zone is known by the names Tamuín and El Consuelo. The village of Tamuín or Tamohí, a word which means "place of effervescence" in Wastek, was built between the 8th and 16th centuries and was depopulated at the time of the Spanish conquest.
Among the major archaeological zones of Huasteca – which runs from the south of Tamaulipas State east to the northern part of Veracruz State and south to the eastern parts of the States of San Luis Potosí and Hidalgo – are Tancol, Las Flores, Castillo de Teayo, Tantoc (Tamtok), Agua Nueva, and Yahualica. The El Consuelo site is representative of the Huastec culture in the last centuries of pre-Hispanic Mexico. The region's cultural development partook of the elements characteristic of the ancient cultures of North America. When its inhabitants dispersed during the first years of the conquest, they settled in the poblado known in today as Antiguo Tamuín (Old Tamuín), six kilometers from El Consuelo.
The first mention of the site is due to Walter Staub, who in 1919 published an article with photographs of various sculptures. By 1946, the investigator Wilfrido Du Solier conducted excavations in El Consuelo ranch and in several buildings and discovered the so called Polychrome Altar. Work was discontinued until 1981 when numerous architectural elements were stabilized. In 1990 the work of exploring and reconstructing the Great Platform commenced.
Among the most important objects encountered at the site are the sculpture, found in 1917, known as the Huastec Adolescent, probably a representation of the god Quetzalcóatl in his youth and considered one of the masterpieces of pre-Hispanic art in Huastec culture. Also important is the mural which covers one of the altars, in which is seen, in a series of images, personages with rich vestments. The figures are conspicuous for their originality and quality and the ceramic art of the Preclassic period.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.