Izapa Group A and B Ruin Site, Tapachula Chiapas State, Mexico, Page Two
Izapa Ruin Site group A and B has mounds and a ball court as yet stabilized. Of interest are the many standing stones, some with carvings such as stelae Five, others having cylindrical shapes and being capped by a round stone the same size as the cylinder. The three site of Izapa are within a mile of one another
Izapa Ruin Site in Tapachula Chiapas an ancient city with Olmec influence that was actively building from 850BC to 300 BC
Izapa Ruin site, is an abandoned stone city built by the local settlers starting approximately 1500 BC and influenced by the Olmec culture through trade and migration. The city reached a high point between 900 BC to 300 BC. Izapa was the center of a large culture settled along the coastal plain and river delta near what is the current border with Guatemala and the present day city of Tapachula in Chiapas State, Mexico.
Izapa has been little studied except by a Mathew Sterling project and by the New World Archeology Foundation, which conducted extensive studies at Izapa focus mainly on the stelae.
The site was once an important Olmec political and religious center and contributed to the Olmec art and architecture that was to later spread throughout Mesoamerica
The three sites open today for visits are small remnants of a huge sprawling city that developed its own unique style of art after the Olmec influence ended at about 200 AD. Ancient art is found on many standing stones. A site at Tonala (Iglesia Viejo) to the north has similar Olmec art as does many small sites in the Tapachula area.
Izapa's cylindrical columns share the plaza in front of the large pyramid with other carved stelae that have a flat round stone in front of them, some with carved legs that resemble large metate.
The Izapa ruin site is set in deep jungle most now growing chocolate banana, avocado, and mango. Wild fruit continually falls from trees along the dirt road to ruins group A and B. Standing stones are propped up in farmers pastures and in places the access road has been cut through small site mounds.
Colectivos headed for the ruin pass by the terminal. The Talisman bound colectivo makes many runs throughout the day and will stop at the Izapa ruin site.
To visit the Izapa ruin Site, catch the white collective taxis as they make runs in front of the bus terminal headed for the town of Talisman. They run about every 15 minutes and cost about 8 pesos. They start near the market district in the center of the city at a large terminal for Colectivos.
The three Izapa sites are spread about a mile apart, one near the main road,Group F, and two a mile distant at the end of a dirt road, Group A and B.
The complex was once a huge city but is now not much more than un-excavated mounds except for Group F. The three groups have some unique stone carvings and glyphs, however, and one, a snake, turtle, or frogs head is made of magnetic stone with the animals head polarized towards magnetic north.
Hotels, are plentiful in Tapachula near the lively center. (20-45 USD, 200 - 400 Pesos )
An archaeological museum near the center houses a great collection of ceramic and stone artifacts from Izapa and the many smaller sites in the area. Artifacts in the Tapachula Museum show Olmec, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Aztec influence.
The Group B site is most notable for the standing stones that are located in a large plaza at the base of a large un restored pyramidal platform. In this view looking north, the small green roof structures protect the stones that are laid out at the four cardinal points. To the right in this photo, the top of an un-excavated mound can be seen having just been cleared of vegetation and in the center right the edge of an un restored ball court.
stelae Five is located in the Group A section of Izapa, about a mile on a dirt road from the main Group and entrance.
The New World Archeology Foundation has conducted extensive studies at Izapa.
Some researchers claim that the carved stone discovered and designated stelae 5 by Mathew Sterling in a 1940s dig shows the arrival to the New world of two tribes from Israel.
The Mormon Group sees this as a validation of the Book of Mormon, which chronicles the arrival and later waring history of the two tribes.
Other investigators cite the depiction of a boat and the eastern (Asian) trappings as proof of a connection by sea to Near Eastern or Asian seafarers such as th Phoenicians or the Egyptians.
Stelae 5 is located in Group A. The stone is very weathered and has lost much of its detail.
Stelae Five digitally sharpened
stelae Five, Izapa Group A
The ruin is within 8 miles of the medium sized city of Tapachula where lodging and night life are available.
Tapachula has a fine museum in the center near the Zocalo where artifacts are displayed Tapachula is served by a major ADO, OCC, and Tica bus terminal.
Izapa Group A and B Ruin Site, Tapachula Chiapas State, Mexico is of interest for carved stones. The Group B site is most notable for the carved standing stones that are located in a large plaza at the base of a large un restored pyramidal platform.
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