TANK YOU, CELIA AND PHIL ¡¡¡
Celia García an art historian and his husband Phil Weigand, an Archaeologist will leave us a legacy after decades of work. With a mix of enthusiasm, diplomacy, and dogged determination, the Weigands have helped rewrite the ancient history of West Mexico.
In 1963, Celia was on vacation in the Tequila Valley near the small town of Teuchitlán, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. During the trip, she discovered a number of large obsidian blades at the bottom of a natural swimming hole. (Obsidian was highly valued in prehistoric cultures for its ability to hold razor-sharp edges.) The find intrigued Phil, then an archaeology field assistant in Zacatecas. Together the couple later located a huge nearby obsidian workshop, where millions of blades and sharp pieces of rock were piled up to three feet deep across two acres at the foot of the extinct Tequila volcano.
After struggling up the flank of the volcano, Phil recalls, "We finally reached a circular compound whose beauty, symmetry, and monumentality far exceeded the expectations we had formed from the aerial photographs." Huge circular structures covered with vegetation sat on a natural platform overlooking a wide, well-watered valley. Though the site was known to local farmers, it was virtually unknown to the outside world, archaeologists included.
The Weigands had discovered a new civilization, one to which they devoted the next 30 years of their lives. The Weigands lives in Michoacan.
What they had found was a ceremonial center, the heart of what the Weigands named the Teuchitlán tradition. This complex society, responsible for the area's shaft tombs, reached its peak between 200 B.C. and A.D. 350, when more than 50,000 people may have lived within 15 miles of the Tequila volcano. At its height, the Teuchitlán tradition was the cultural center of West Mexico, with unique, complex architecture and a trade network that stretched from Guatemala to Arizona.
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La UNESCO anuncio el año pasado, que la región agavera del Occidente México, a su vez con las históricas destilerías de tequila, se han convertido en el primer sitio Mexicano en ser seleccionado en la lista de Patrimonio Mundial, en la categoría de paisajes.
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UNESCO announced that the agave region of western Mexico along with the historic tequila producing factories have become the first Mexican site selected for their World Heritage List in the Cultural Landscape category. (July-2006)
Fields of orderly rows of agave tequilana surround the remote town, an hour north of Guadalajara. The prickly blue agave plant dominates the valleys.
The drink tequila is a relatively new invention. While pre-Columbian Indians consumed various drinks made from agave plants, most notably pulque, the process did not include distillation. When the Spanish arrived they distilled the agave juice, naming the product mezcal.
The mezcal produced in the town of Tequila enjoyed wide popularity, it assumed the special name of "tequila" by the end of the 19th century.
Today, the drink has to be manufactured in one of two main municipalities, Tequila or Atotonilco, also known as Los Altos -- both northeast of Guadalajara -- to qualify as genuine tequila.
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El hecho de documentarnos sobre un lugar antes de visitarlo, agrega interés y entusiasmo por descubrir lo que ya nos fue revelado, pero más aun lo que descubriremos con nuestro interés.
Aquí dos pequeñas guías que nos serán de mucha utilidad al visitar el lugar por primera vez. El primer libro cuesta 100 pesos y éste último costó 50.
Si eres un verdadero entusiasta como yo de la tradición Guachimontones, y piensas volver cada vez que puedas, entonces podrás profundizar sobre la cultura Guachimontones , con el libro “Perspectivas del Antiguo México. Arte y Arqueología de un pasado Desconocido” Editado por el Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco en conjunto con THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, su precio máximo es de $450.00, pero bien vale la pena. No he podido encontrar un mejor libro sobre la tradición Guachimontones.
Este ùltimo libro lo puedes comprar en el costado Oriente de la plaza de Teuchitlan- Guachimontones. Hay una casa donde dan platicas sobre la cultura Guachimontones.
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