Cañada de la Virgen
Cañada de la Virgen archaeological tour. The pilgrimage to the sacred hill of the ancestors. Half day tour Cañada de la Virgen archaeological site is in San Miguel de Allende municipality, just 35 km from the historic center. It was first explored by Luis Felipe Nieto in 1985. The official excavation project started in 2002, leaded by Gabriela Zepeda. The site open to the public in 2011. Francisco Granados and Rossana Quiroz have done astronomical studies on site revealing the landscape calendars of the place and its connection with the broader Mesoamerican calendrics tradition. Alberto Aveleyra, anthropologist and your guide, is doing research about the site, trying to understand the meaning of the pilgrimages and processions in the indigenous pre-Hispanic world view. He is connecting the information of the site with the information about a sanctuary referred in the historical sources, located in northern Mexico but the exact location unknown until nowadays: Chicomoztoc, the place of the 7 caves or the 7 ravines. We pick you up at El Cardo Parking Lot, we drive to the Visitor Center and park our vehicle there. We hop on the official vehicle of the site that is going to drive us 7 km to the place where we are going to start our walk on the way to the sanctuary. As the ancient pilgrims, we´ll walk through the pre-Hispanic ceremonial road that was used during the 500 years history of the site. We visit the north temple, the south temple and we end our tour at the top of the main pyramid, the House of the 13 Heavens. From there we return to the point where the official vehicle leaved us earlier. We walk 3 km, about 2 miles, the site is surrounded by the Mesa del Gato at the west, the Mesa Ojo de Agua to the south, the Cerro Grande to the east, the 7 canyons are located to the northeast of the site, the Laja river basin opens to the north. The quite surroundings creates a unique atmosphere, cows, horses, turtles and frogs in the water pond at the rainy season, plants of the semidesert, oaks in the canyon where the ceremonial road begins. In the tour I share a first approach to the ancient cultures of Mexico and we talk about the discoveries made by the archaeologists, the burials, offerings and ceremonial objects. We talk about the meaning of the processions, of time and space, dead and life, about the landscape calendars, rulership and its connection with the ritual life of the site.
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