El Tajin

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The major Classic Period centre located in a rain forest valley in northern Veracruz, Mexico. Its central structures are very tightly grouped but there are hundreds of other structures spread about the valley which remain to be investigated. The art style of the site was subject to many influences including Mayan, Izapan and Olmec, but Teotihuacan influence dominates the early period; the central structure, the Temple of the Niches, for example, is constructed in a modified Talud-Tablero style. El Tajin, however, rose to prominence after the fall of Teotihuacan. Its location in an area where rubber grows naturally and its unusually high number of ball courts (at least seven) indicates that it may have been a centre for the ball game. In addition, vast quantities of ball game paraphernalia (yokes, hachas and palmas) have been uncovered. The artefact most commonly associated with Classic Veracruz culture is the hollow, clay ‘smiling face’ figurine; but the main centre for its manufacture lies to the south at Remojades. El Tajin’s final destruction by fire was probably at the hands of the Chichimecs. The site was abandoned in cl 100.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied