A stele from Cerro Tortuga Archaeological Site, in Oaxaca Coast, has revealed the connection maintained between Chatina Region and Teotihuacan: a character with similar elements to those found at Teotihuacan mural paintings. The piece might date from between 200 and 800 AD, as announced by archaeologist Ivan Rivera Guzman from National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).


The nearly 3 meters-high carved stone found in Chatina Region has “the symbol on the character’s cheek and volutes orientation similar to those at Teotihuacan. The headdress is different, but the style relation is unquestionable”.


During his participation at the 5th Monte Alban Round Table, the researcher raised the hypothesis, based on preliminary iconographic analysis, about the person represented in the stele being named Seignior 8 E, who shows his profile and his hand at the front.


“From my point of view, he was a Teotihuacan seignior settled in Oaxaca Coast, being his glyph 8 E. Chronology must be verified, because he could represent an individual who also appeared in Monte Alban Archaeological Zone, associated with Teotihuacan by Antonio Caso, named 8 Earthquake.


“Both steles present different seignior’s attributes, having the one from Cerro Tortuga warrior elements. Dating this stele will be key factor to determine its relation with Seignior 8 Earthquake”, manifested the archaeologist.


At the academic meeting organized by INAH, Rivera Guzman declared that although the stele is a new element regarding Mesoamerican regions’ connection, other sites such as Cerro Bernal at Chiapas Coast have demonstrated existence of a Teotihuacan corridor that began in Guerrero.


He remarked that study of the stone at Cerro Tortuga was conducted because Santa Cruz Tepenixtlahuaca community, who has this and other stele in custody, solicited it; they have interest in registering these goods before INAH Direction of Archaeological Zones and Monuments Public Register.


“We deciphered each of the glyphs, identifying their components, comparing the scene with sculptural corpus of Oaxaca Coast and Teotihuacan. This stele may correspond to Classic period, between 200 and 800 AD, but we need to specify its dating”, he added.


The character attire and insignia are formed by a bird of prey, a circular shield and a lance, all of them frequent symbols in Teotihuacan painting, sculpture and ceramic scenes.

On the contrary, the Oaxaca Coast style represents seigniors’ frontwards and their name (symbolized by a calendar glyph) at the stomach level.

Existence of the stele outside High Plateau areas indicates presence of Teotihuacan people in other places at Mesoamerica. Nevertheless, we need to confront this iconographic discourse with data obtained in systemic exploration at Chatina region”, he concluded.