Tazumal is an archaeological site of the Maya in the west of present-day Central American nation of El Salvador. It is one of the southernmost Mayan sites at all and the most important in El Salvador.


The place name comes from the language of Tazumal Quiché - Maya and means something like "place of burning victims "; whether the present name, however, corresponds to the original name of the place is - not only in the case of Tazumal - doubtful.


Tazumal is just a few meters outside the 650 m high city Chalchuapa in the department of Santa Ana. From the capital, San Salvador, there are nearly 80 km ( driving distance ) in a southeasterly direction. The Mayan city of Copan in Honduras today is about 300 km ( driving distance ) and 200 km ( straight line ) away.


Not much is known about the history of Tazumal - probably the town was first settled around 100 AD. On the basis of subsequent findings suggested you that it was in the heyday (ca. 600-900 AD) mercantile and cultural relations with Copan and central Mexico. Relatively late, that is, around 1200, Tazumal was abandoned. Some finds from later periods suggest, however, that a cultural- religious life continues existed at this point until the 15th century.

The Mayan site was investigated in the 1940 's by American archaeologists and restored in the 1950s and reconstructed. In this part of the outside walls - clad with cement plaster - for the purpose of stabilization and in memory of the formerly existing stucco coating. On 18 October 2004 slid - after heavy rains - one of these panels off and tore the part of the pyramid to the ground.


Among the over an area of ​​about 10 square kilometers scattered buildings of Tazumal pierce two temple pyramids forth: While the gradations of rectangular plan and about 23 m high Great Pyramid run mainly at right angles, is in the restored and reconstructed architectural structure of about 12 m to recognize high little pyramid Talud - tablero scheme, which can be attributed to central Mexican influences ultimately. From the temples formerly located at the top of the two pyramids nothing has been preserved.

An unrestored ball court can be seen in its foundations. Steles with inscription or Datumsglyphen or other free-standing monuments you will not find in the ruins.


In the local museum, however, is a native of around 1450 almost life-size statue of Xipe Totec -, the - clothed with the peeled skin of a sacrificed man - Aztec god of spring, issued. Other exhibits are presented, including two figurative totems, more rough-hewn boulders with small figural reliefs, a zoomorphic sacrificial stone, a Jochstein ( yugo ), painted or with scorings provided sacrificial bowls (possibly grave goods ) and some smaller ceramic figures.


The lack of writing and Datumsglyphen and natural large stones with small reliefs apply a temporal relationship close to similar rocks in the area of the Pacific cultures of Guatemala, in particular the Cotzumalhuapa culture.