Ancient Wall Reveals Lost Civilization in Mexico

Ancient Wall Reveals Lost Tepuztec Civilization in Mexico

The recent discovery in Guerrero, Mexico, unveils an imposing ancient wall that speaks volumes about the extinct Tepuztec civilization.


While expanding the Puerto del Varal-Corral de Piedra highway, archaeologists stumbled upon a massive pre-Hispanic wall measuring 34 meters long and seven meters high. This monumental structure forms the first of three tiers, all part of the larger Barranca Chihuila-Corral de Piedra site. Covering an estimated 1.5 square kilometers, this site aligns with the modern-day town of Corral de Piedra.

Discoveries Beneath the Surface Reveal Lost Civilization

Guided by Mexico’s Ministry of Culture and experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the team unearthed fragments of human and animal bones embedded within the wall. Notably, a child’s burial site was discovered, aged between three and five years. This grave was adorned with valuable artifacts like green stone beads, copper bells, shell earrings, and a significant Yestla-El Naranjo type tripod bowl, emblematic of a cultural period from the 1000s to 1521 AD.

The region was historically known to be inhabited by the Tepuztecs, an ethnic group lost in time. Their metallurgical prowess was evident, with the Mexicas dubbing them “tepuzque”, referencing their expertise in copper alloys. Local legends often referred to them as Tlacotepehuas, centralizing in Tlacotepec.


Although previously explored by archaeologist Robert R. Weitlaner between 1944 and 1946, the site hadn’t been deeply studied for almost eight decades. He had identified the Yestla-El Naranjo ceramics and reported the significant presence of copper slag, underscoring the area’s rich metallurgical history.

Architectural Marvels and Ethnic Insights

The discovery underscores the region’s dense ancient occupation, as articulated by archaeologists Miguel Pérez Negrete and Laura Lucero Hernández. Their findings shed light on the Tepuztecs’ spiritual beliefs, highlighting deities such as Andut and Macuili Achiotl. Additionally, the excavation has decoded intricate construction techniques and the abundant presence of Early Postclassic ceramics (950-1350 AD).

Two prominent phases of occupation were discerned: an initial one with signs of a collapse, followed by a resettlement period, potentially linked to the Tepuztecs. Hernández concluded, “This research will unveil the extinct Tepuztecs’ socio-cultural traits and the Yestla-Naranjo ceramic era.”


The modern highway has now integrated the pre-Hispanic wall as a focal attraction, captivating passersby and rekindling interest in Mexico’s ancient civilizations.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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