Peralta (Mesoamerican site)
Peralta is a prehispanic mesoamerican archaeological site located in Abasolo Municipality, Guanajuato, just outside the village of San Jose de Peralta in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. The site is reached via Mexico highway 90 of from Irapuato. Approximately 15.5 km south of the intersection with Mexico highway 45, take the Irapuato-Huanimaro route southeast (left). Follow the route for about 12.5 km, then turnoff southwest (right) to San Jose de Peralta. Cross the bridge and turn right, and then follow the road out of the village northwest about 1 km. The site is on the left.The center originally occupied about 130 hectares of land and was home to many structures, of which 22 pyramids have been identified, including a multitude of terraced agricultural fields that supported the population. The region was initially settled around 100 AD, with the center reaching its apex between 300 and 650 AD prior to the population's reversion to nomadism.The site is part of what is known as the “Bajio Tradition” region. The site developed between 300 and 700 CE, at the time that Teotihuacan was declining and Tula was rising. According to archeologists the city declined and collapsed due to the overexploitation of the surrounding deciduous rainforest and it was abandoned around 900 CE. The site occupies 150 hectares divided into a center with five surrounding settlements. The most important structure is double temple structure, with a “Patio Hundido” (Sunken Patio). Another important building is the Main Structure, called by some La Mesita (The Small Table) or Recinto de los Gobernantes (Governors’ Precinct). It has a large plaza which is considered to have been the main square for the city. Among the walls and other structures a semicircle dedicated to the Danza de Voladores has been discovered.Peralta and the Bajio Tradition are part of a regional culture, its architecture and ceramic works are different from other mesoamerican societies.Its large constructions place Peralta among the largest Tradition sites and contain one of the largest ceremonial centers in the region.Very little is known about these societies inhabiting the Bajio Region, they are thought to have been members of hunter-gatherer, fishing Chichimec groups, it is now known that places such as Peralta were trading confluence routes between central Mexico with northern and western Mesoamerica.The Peralta inhabitants are believed to have formed autonomous agricultural societies that formed social and religious networks, probably linked by family ties and regional governments. These societies traded foodstuff items, baskets, ornaments and luxury items such as turquoise jewels, shell collars and obsidian items.Over 1400 years ago, in addition to Peralta, there were other five known important cities in the region; San Bartolome (Tzchté), San Miguel Viejo, Tepozán, Loza Los Padres and Peñuelas. Circular structures confirm the Tradition constant ancient relations with other civilizations. Circular structures are common across prehispanic Mesoamerica.