As an area that was once populated by the Teco Indian tribe, it should come as no surprise that Mascota’s name is not derived from the Spanish language (which would literally translate to “pet”), but that of the Teco. In the Teco language, Mascota (short for Amaxacotlán Mazacotla) means “place of deer and snakes”, although the Spanish who invaded the area referred to the area as “the valley of deer”.
The Archaeological Museum of Mascota
You will learn about this and so many other fascinating facts about the region when you visit the Archaeological Museum of Mascota. Exploring the history and archaeology of Mascota, this museum has four sections of exhibitions as well as an auditorium, a library, a spacious outdoor space for creative activities and four temporary exhibition halls. A stay at magnificent Sierra Lago gives you the perfect excuse to experience some of the tourist attractions in Mascota, and this museum is a great place to start!
Fascinating Artifacts and Exhibits
Exhibits include a collection of photographs of the region’s petroglyphs and over 600 archaeological artifacts such as bones, ceramics and stone. Many of these items were given as offerings that were discovered in the majority of the 160 burials sites found in the area, which date back between 800 B.C. and 300 A.D.! Observing artifacts that are this old is truly an unforgettable experience and should not be missed. Many excavations in the area have been led by U.S. researcher Joseph B. Mountjoy and have taken place thanks to the generous support of the National Geographic Society.
Much of the archaeological work that has been done around Mascota has centered on “El Pantano”, which is a cemetery that dates back about one thousand years. This remarkable discovery has helped archaeologists have a better understanding of the culture that once existed near Mascota. There is not a lot of information about the lifestyle, traditions and culture of the people who existed there prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers, so this ancient cemetery provides some insight. It is believed that El Pantano was once a lake before becoming a sacred burial area where remains would often be laid to rest with special offerings.
Once you have completed your visit to the museum, take a stroll around the village and sample some of the local flavors. Try some of the locally grown coffee, or indulge your sweet tooth with some homemade treats such as mango leather, guava rolls or tasty cookies. While you are exploring the region’s gastronomy, why not try some raicilla, too? This distilled beverage similar to tequila is typically consumed by the shot glass!
You can visit the Archaeological Museum of Mascota Tuesday through Saturday between 10am and 2pm or 4pm and 7pm, as well as on Sundays from 10am until 2pm. The museum’s address is Allende street No.115, Mascota, Jalisco.
For an authentic look at its rich culture and history, visit Mascota’s Archaeological Museum!