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The Los Reyes La Paz Archaeological Site is a major pyramid site on the far eastern edge of Mexico City. It’s roughly a 20-minute walk from Metro Los Reyes, in the State of Mexico although it is visible from the slopes of San Miguel Teotongo. The site is sometimes called Los Reyes Acaquilpan. This name derives from that of the La Paz municipal seat, and it recalls the ancient name of the town that once stood here.
Azaquilpan or Axaquilpan, the ancient Nahuatl name, is usually translated as “on the grass of the sand.” INAH scientists working here determined through analysis of the ceramics found in the area the following chronology of the site.
Three constructive stages of artifacts correspond to the Early, Middle and Late Post-classic periods. The oldest artifacts correspond to the Mazapa Phase (800-1100 C.E.). The town emerged under the influence of Tula, the dominant power in the central highlands in around 800 C.E. Some smaller settlements east of the current site were abandoned at about that time.
About 400 years later, nomadic groups from the north of Mexico began settling in the central Mexican highlands. They are believed to have taken over the Los Reyes site during this period. Many Toltec (Tula) sites were abandoned with the decline of the civilization after 1050 C.E.
The continued advances of Nahua speaking peoples resulted in the consolidation of Azcapotzalco, Tenayuca, Cuautitlán, Texcoco and Chalco around the beginning of the 15th century. Los Reyes was then in all likelihood paying tribute to Chimalhuacán, which was in turn a dependent of Texcoco. The resulting town had several hundred inhabitants at its peak. They were likely primarily dedicated to the extraction of basaltic stone, a principle construction material of the time. Some fishing supplemented their diets and the economy.
The site was nearly entirely abandoned with the Spanish invasion, although its people had been, under Texcoco, part of the Triple Alliance.
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