El Tajin is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the present-day municipality of Poza Rica, in the Mexican state of Veracruz. It was the major site of the Classic Veracruz culture and one of the largest cities in western Mesoamerica during the Classic era. Tajín means city or place of thunder in the Totonac language, and is believed to have been one of the names for the Totonac god of thunder, lightning and rain. Construction of ceremonial buildings at El Tajín began about the 1st century and peaked in the Late Classic era, roughly 600 – 900 CE. Early Classic Tajín shows influence of Teotihuacan; early Post-classic shows considerable Toltec influence. Construction continued to about the start of the 13th century, at which time, according to tradition, the city was conquered and burned by Chichimec invaders. The site continued to be occupied after this by a smaller population, but no new large construction projects were initiated. The site had been completely abandoned when Spanish conquistadors arrived in the early 16th century. In 1785 engineer Diego Ruiz visited the site, then overgrown with vegetation, and published the first description of it. In the early 19th century it was visited by Guillermo Dupaix, Alexander von Humboldt, and Carlos Nebel, who published additional accounts. The first archaeological excavation of the site was made by Jose Garcia Payon from 1943 through 1963. The Mexican Institute of Anthropology & History has made additional restoration to buildings at the site since the 1980s. Mexico travel guides.
GPS travel destinations: 20° 26′ 41″ N, 97° 22′ 39″ W
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