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A mystery solved: What exactly happened to the Guachimontón people?

I thought Dr. Peter Jimenez was going to tell us about the Lake Chapala petroglyphs during an archaeological tour organized on November 15.

Instead, he gave us a new perspective on Pre-Hispanic globalization, demonstrating how very much those ancient people were similar to us.

Thanks to him, a mystery that had long enticed my curiosity was no longer a mystery.

From the first days I arrived in Western Mexico in 1985, I had been fascinated by the Guachimontones, the so-called “circular pyramids” which were built starting as far back as 200 BC and whose ruins — in some cases remarkably well preserved — can be found in more than 50 locations in Jalisco and neighboring states.


The Guachimontones were ceremonial centers where huge crowds gathered to hear about their own traditions, celebrate festivals, dance to music, and watch ball games. You can find more about them in my book “A Guide to West Mexico’s Guachimontones and Surrounding Area.”

But then there was the mystery …

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