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Tula de Hidalgo (Mexico)


Tula Atlantes, Mexico

Tula Atlantes, Mexico

Steve Cadman

The archaeological ruins of Tula are located in the Mexican state of Hildalgo about 50 kilometers northwest of Mexico City. Tula is considered the likely candidate for Tollan, the legendary capital of the Toltec Empire, founded about AD 750, as the Teotihuacan empire was crumbling.

During the height of Tula's power, between AD 900 and 1100, it included an area of some five square miles, with an occupation perhaps as high as 60,000. Tula's precincts included a large diversity of types of environments, from a reedy marsh to adjacent hills and slopes; within this varied landscape are hundreds of mounds and terraces, representing residential structures in a planned city scape, with alleys, passageways and paved streets.

Archaeologists and explorers associated with Tula include Desire Charnay, Dan Healan, Richard Diehl, and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma.


Fournier-Garcia, Patricia and Lourdes Mondragon 2003 Haciendas, Ranchos, and the Otomí Way of Life in the Mezquital Valley, Hidalgo, Mexico. Ethnohistory 50(1):47-68.

Healan, Dan M. 1995 Identifying lithic reduction loci with size-graded macrodebitage: A multivariate approach. American Antiquity 60(4):686-699.

Healan, Dan M. 2001. Tula de Hidalgo. Pp. 775-777 in Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America. Ed. Susan Toby Evans and David L. Webster. Garland Publishing, NYC.

Smith, Michael E. and Lisa Montiel 2001 The archaeological study of empires and imperialism in pre-hispanic central Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 20(3):245-284.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Also Known As: Tollan, Tula de Hidalgo

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