Tlahuica Cultures of Morelos         Version en español.

Ruins of Teopanzolco
by Dr. Michael E. Smith
Professor of Anthropology, University at Albany, State University of New York

Award1.gif - 2.6 K Award2.gifWelcome to the Tlahuica Culture home page. The Tlahuica were one of the Aztec peoples of central Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest (AD 1521). The Tlahuica lived in the area that is now the state of Morelos. Their largest city, Cuauhnahuac, was renamed Cuernavaca by the Spaniards (who could not pronounce the original Nahuatl name).

Because history is written by the victors, most surviving historical documents on the Aztecs describe the Mexica of the Valley of Mexico who conquered the Tlahuica and other groups. Glyph for CuauhnahuacOn the other hand, archaeological sites of the Tlahuica have fared better over the centuries than those of the Mexica, largely because Morelos is less heavily populated (and less urbanized and industrialized) than the Valley of Mexico. For this reason, archaeologists are finding that Tlahuica sites in Morelos provide some of the best evidence for Aztec life and culture.

This web site and associated links a provide information on the little-known Tlahuica culture of Morelos. Many of the links point to current and recent research carried out by Dr. Michael E. Smith and his students at the University at Albany (State University of New York).

Best of the Net Award 4-Star Award Site


This web site has been given several awards, including the Four-Star Award for Web Site Excellence in Anthropology by Vee Ring Ltd, and the "Best of the Net" award, Archaeology category, for September, 1997, by The Mining Company. Click on the graphics for more information about these awards.

Please explore the following links:
Glyph for Tepoztlan
Tlahuica Ruins:
Tlahuica archaeological sites that can be visited today.
Tlahuica Peoples:
Historical information on the Tlahuica peoples.
Yautepec, a Tlahuica City:
Recent excavations at the Tlahuica city of Yautepec.
Rural Tlahuica Sites
Excavations at the rural Tlahuica sites of Cuexcomate and Capilco.
Bibliography on the Aztecs
A bibliography of books about the Aztecs
Michael E. Smith's Home Page
Information about research and publications.

  Information on my excavations at Tlahuica sites in Morelos can be found in:

Scientific American, September 1997, pp. 76-83,
"Life in the Provinces of the Aztec Empire" by Michael E. Smith.

__________________________________________________________________________________ This Archaeology Ring site is owned by Michael E. Smith.

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© 1997, Michael E. Smith (updated 10/30/03)