Sites & cities that bear the name of Izapa


Today in : Mexico
First trace of activity : ca. 15th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 12th century C.E

Description : Izapa is a very large pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the Mexican state of Chiapas; it is best known for its occupation during the Late Formative period. The site is situated on the Izapa River, a tributary of the Suchiate River, near the base of the volcano Tacaná, the sixth tallest mountain in Mexico. The settlement at Izapa extended over 1.4 miles, making it the largest site in Chiapas. The site reached its apogee between 850 BCE and 100 BCE; several archaeologists have theorized that Izapa may have been settled as early as 1500 BCE, making it as old as the Olmec sites of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and La Venta. Izapa remained occupied through the Early Postclassic period, until approximately 1200 CE. Due to the abundance of carved Maya stelae and monuments at Izapa, the term "Izapan style" is used to describe similarly executed works throughout the Pacific foothills and highlands beyond, including some found at Takalik Abaj and Kaminaljuyu. Izapa is located on wet and hilly land made of volcanic soil; it is still fertile for agriculture. The weather is very hot and very wet. The area around Izapa was a major cacao producing area known as the Soconusco region, which was used by the Aztecs.

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