Sites & cities that bear the name of Quelepa


Today in : El Salvador
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 11th century C.E

Description : Quelepa is an important archaeological site located in eastern El Salvador. Generally considered to have been settled by the Lenca people, the site was founded around 400 BC in the Late Preclassic period (500 BC - AD 250). The inhabitants constructed a platform from plaster and pumice and rebuilt it a number of times. Artefacts recovered during the excavations of the site indicate that the local population depended upon subsistence agriculture, these artefacts included metates (a kind of mortar) and comales (a type of griddle). The site belonged to the Mesoamerican cultural region. Quelepa means "stone jaguar" in the Lenca language, probably in reference to the large Jaguar Altar found at the site. Throughout its occupational history, the inhabitants crafted stone tools from obsidian. The site appears to have been linked to trade routes extending to western El Salvador and the Guatemalan Highlands and also to the north in Honduras. Although sites in western El Salvador were severely affected by the eruption of the Ilopango Volcano during the Early Classic, its only effect on Quelepa was the severance of trade routes into Mesoamerica. This cutting off did not result in stagnation at the site, but rather resulted in the florescence of a local culture.

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