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(in nahuatl = House )
Coordinates as: 19º 32' 10" to 19º 36' 44" N, and 97º 28' 15" to 97º 31' 57" E.
Near from Pico de Orizaba (1 or 2 hour around from Tlachichuca)
Cantona is considered to be one of the largest and most urbanized cities in pre - hispanic Mexico.
A spectacular newly excavated archaeological site believed to be the largest urban center yet discovered in Mesoamerica. Cantona covers 12 squares kilometers that are divided into three urban areas. The ruins includes a roadway network of over 500 cobblestone causeways, over 3,000 individual patios, or residences, 24 ball courts and an elaborate acropolis with many ceremonial buildings and temples. These remarcable buildings were assembled by carved stones being placed one atop the other without any stucco covering or cement mortar being used in their construction.
Cantona existed from about A.D. 600 to 1000. It had a population of about 80, 000 inhabitants at its peak of power. It depended upon commerce and trade. There were some agricultural efforts also taking place. It also seems to have been built with a definite urban plan and walled walkways connecting each and every part of the city. The main roadway called "First Avenue" is 563 meters in length.
Cantona was a contemporary civilization to Teotihuacan. It looks today much as it did 1,000 years ago. This rugged outpost is surrounded by dry, arid land dotted with old haciendas. It was abandoned 300 years before Cortes. It was occupied by the Toltecs.
It takes over three hours in a car to travel the short distance from Puebla to Cantona. A lot of the time is spent driving the last few kilometers on a raised gravel road that is aweful. We caught on to the fact that the local people do not use the road that the government built. They use dirt side roads and drive in a lot less time with little wear and tear to their cars. We drove back that way and recommend the dirt side roads.
We visited this site on January 17, 2004. During that time the wind blowing over the site was very strong and it stirred up a lot of dirt and sand. We actually wore face masks to filter out the dust during most of the tour of the site. Goggles would have been nice to have to keep the dust out of our eyes.
The museum and restrooms are clean.
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