El Consuelo Archaeological Park

Tamuín, Mexico

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.

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Unnamed Road, Tamuín, Mexico
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Founded: 1100-1300
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Mexico

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