Freedom8 Mesoamerica




   

Mixco Viejo
is a Mayan site in the north east of the Chimaltenango department of Guatemala, some 50 km to the north of Guatemala City and 4km from the junction of the rivers Pixcaya and Montagua. It is a moderate sized city of the Post-Classic Era.
Mixco Viejo is usually considered the capital of the Pocomam Maya kingdom, and was sometimes known as Pocomam, Saqik'ajol and Nimakaqapek in addition to Mixco Viejo. An alternative theory holds that it was instead a northern outpost of the K'iche', and its current identification as Mixco Viejo is the result of confusion with Jlotepeque Viejo. The site was founded on a defensive location mountain top in the 12th century. The peak population in the early 16th century may have been around 10,000 people. It was conquered by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1525 after a siege of more than 3 months. The Conquistadores then had the city burnt and depopulated.
The ruins consist of 15 groups containing the remains of over 120 major structures, including temples, palaces, and courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame. Archeological excavations were carried out from 1954 through 1967 by the Musée de 'Homme, Paris under the direction of archaeologist Henri Lehmann. The site is open to tourist visits and has a small museum. The site's architectural remains are less impressive than many larger Mayan sites, but the dramatic mountaintop location with scenic views are enjoyed by many visitors.