inside the pyramid of cholula
Mexico Travel

Inside the Pyramid of Cholula

Walk inside a pyramid with me!

[Click on images to enlarge]

On 6/27/18, the archaeologist we were working with took us inside the tunnels of the Pyramid of Cholula. The great part about being with him is that we got to get in for free. Also, everyone calls us “archaeologists” here (Mexico) and it feels pretty good to have a job title that isn’t “student”!

The pyramid of Cholula was built in several stages (I think there were 8). There are little models showing the different stages of construction as you walk through the tunnels and a larger model in the museum that highlights the stage-wise construction.

model of contruction of the Pyramid of Cholula
One of the stages of construction.
stage-wise construction of the Pyramid of Cholula
Diorama attempting to show the different stages of construction of the pyramid.
inside the pyramid of cholula
Into the pyramid!

The tunnels were well lit but did have problems with cave-ins due to water leakage from the sanitarium above.

inside the pyramid of cholula
Tunnel from the excavation of the pyramid steps from one of the stages of construction.
inside the pyramid of cholula
As the pyramid grew in size, new facades and new steps were built on top of the old ones. Through this gate, you can see the steps from a previous stage of construction.

The further into the tunnels you walk, the earlier stages of pyramid construction you run into.

After we emerged from the tunnels, the archaeologist (C.) took us “behind the scenes” of the archaeological site (meaning he took us past the ropes that keep the tourists out of the site and into where active archaeological work was occurring).

preserved murals, pyramid of cholula
Some of the preserved murals of the pyramid. Can you see the star motifs?
preserved murals, pyramid of cholula
Some more preserved mural. I know this may not seem very impressive, but this stuff is ridiculously old and was out in the weather, so it is incredibly impressive to me that any of it still exists.
cholula archaeological site
Part of the site surrounding the base of the pyramid. The murals from the above images can be partially seen on the left-hand side of this picture.

We entered through the door you see in the above photo to see the murals inside. One of them is the most famous mural of Cholula, the mural of the bebedores (or drinkers). They are pictured drinking pulque (see link if you want to know what this is).

bebedores mural, cholula
Bebedores mural
bebdores mural, Cholula
Bebedores mural
bebedores mural, Cholula
Length of the bebedores mural
preserved mural, Cholula
More preserved mural
Replica of a portion of the water drainage system at pyramid of cholula
Replica of a portion of the water drainage system
pyramid of cholula base
More “behind-the-scenes” of the archaeological site.
Then we headed to the museum that associated with the items uncovered during excavation of the pyramid. This museum is attached to the lab I was working in, and yet I didn’t go inside until my last week there!
Preclassic, Classic, and Postclassic chronologies in Cholula
Preclassic, Classic, and Postclassic chronologies in Cholula. d.C. is despues de Cristo (after Christ).
Information about the construction of the Pyramid of Cholula
Information about the construction of the Pyramid
artifacts from the Pyramid of Cholula
Some of the artifacts recovered during excavation.
Artifacts from the archaeological site of Cholula
Artifacts from the archaeological site.
Artifacts from the archaeological site of Cholula
Artifacts from the archaeological site.

Pottery with an image of a Xolo. These were hairless dogs bred to be eaten.

information about the mural of the bebedores
Description of the mural of the bebedores that I previously mentioned.
reconstruction of the mural of the bebedores
Replica of what the mural may have looked like prior to deterioration.

Side Note: Here are some more of my food adventures!

sangria in mexico
Trying some of the alleged “best sangria in the world”.
tres leches cake
Tres Leches Cake

I had to try some pulque! The drink of the bebedores. And I drank it in front of a replica of the mural of the bebedores even! I got the regular flavored pulque, but they offered strawberry and other fruity flavors, too. The correct way to drink it is out of the bowl, as seen above.

Next time you hear from me, I’ll be writing about Peru!

-Brianna

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