Ruinas de Tazumal
- tel, info: 2408 4295
- full US$3.00
- Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00
Lonely Planet review for Ruinas de Tazumal
The Mayan ruins of Tazumal, in Chalchuapa, are considered the most important and best preserved in El Salvador. The name Tazumal means 'pyramid where the victims were burned' in the Quiché language. The excavated ruins on display here are only one part of a zone covering 10 sq km (4 sq mi) - most of the ancient wonders still lie buried under the town.
Archaeologists estimate that the first settlements in the area date from around 5000 BC. The excavated structures date from a period spanning over 1000 years. The artifacts found at Tazumal provide evidence of ancient trade between Tazumal and places as far away as Panama and Mexico.
One of the most important artifacts uncovered is a lifesize statue of Xipe-totec, a Nahua god of fertility and war. The figure is covered in what appears to be scales, but are believed to represent pieces of human skin that were evidently cut from sacrificial victims as a tribute.