Traditional pre-Hispanic boat, cargo found in Mexico

Archaeologists with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered a tepari, a traditional boat, and the load it carried on the shores of Janitzio, one of the islands in Lake Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacán. The tepari is large at 14.8 (48.6 feet) long and was found still carrying cargo, primarily firewood, that it was carrying from the town of Erongarícuaro to the island when it was submerged.

The tepari was discovered in May, and due to its unusually large size and state of preservation, the find triggered an expanded excavation around the find site. They unearthed numerous artifacts while dredging the island’s coastline. The stand-out find in the follow-up excavation was a group of worked human bones, mostly femurs, with xparallel grooves cut into them. There were also ceramic objects and carved stone which were likely thrown into the lake as offerings.

The objects discovered in this excavation and in previous ones, including several tepari, are undergoing conservation to make them stable for display. The ultimate goal is for the artifacts to form the backbone of a new community museum on Janitzio Island.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.