Aticama Museum of Archaeology and History

Early Ixtlan Complex
(300 B.C. – 300 A.D.

(Written by Archaeologist Joseph B. Mountjoy, Museologist)

During this period called the Late Formative, there is an “explosion” of population in in the “heartland” of West Mexico in contrast to the sparse population of the Middle Formative. Hundreds of sites of this period have been found in Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit. In the municipality of San Blas 20 sites of this period have been recorded and they represent the large-scale slash-and-burn clearing of land in the piedmont area for agricultural purposes.

This archaeological complex is associated with the great expansion of the use of tombs in the form of a boot that are known as “shaft-and-chamber” tombs, although tombs of this sort had their origins in the previous, Middle Formative, period in Michoacan and Jalisco. Many tombs of this kind have been found in the municipality of San Blas, above all in the foothills back from the coast to the east. Unfortunately, the information about these tombs and their contents comes almost entirely from illegal looting that has destroyed entire cemeteries.

Visit the Aticama Museum of Archaeology and History to read the rest of the story and view the artifacts from this period!!