El Opeño

Tecuexe – Purépecha – Archaeological Site
Name: El Opeño archaeological site
LocationJacona, Michoacán
RegionMesoamérica (México)
Coordinates19°56′03″N 102°18′26″W / 19°56′03″N 102°18′26″W / 19.93417; -102.30722
LanguageUto-Aztecan languagePurépecha language
Chronology1300 – 200 BCE
INAH Web PageNon existent

El Opeño is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the municipality of Jacona in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. It is home to a prehispanic site, mainly known from the ceramic material found in the funerary complexes of the site, which have been dated to the Late Preclassic period. The importance of this site in mesoamerican archaeology is due to its antiquity and the ample diffusion of its style, contemporary to other native culture developments such as the Capacha culture and earlier than the Chupicuaro. El Opeño tombs, the oldest in Mesoamerica, have been dated to around 1600 BCE - a similar period as Olmec culture development.

El Opeño discoveries became a milestone that questions the Olmec culture as the founders or precursors of all mesoamerican cultures.[1]

At the same time, the lack of validated information becomes evident, as well as the need of serious studies of Cem Ānáhuac history, name of the territories known to the Mexica civilization before the Mexico Spaniards invasion and conquest.

The Name

It is not clear if the name El Opeño, has some meaning or what is the original name of this site.

In relation to the name of the city it is located, Jacona or Xucunan, there are several versions.

According to the Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Michoacán, Jacona is a chichimeca origin word which means "place of vegetables". Another meaning comes from Xucunan, "place of flowers and vegetables".[2]

Another version notes that Jacona (Xucunan) is a word from the Tecuexe, one of the Great Chichimeca civilizations, whose language is Uto-Aztecan languages.[3]

Other Languages
español: El Opeño
français: El Opeño
português: El Opeño