LOS TORILES, Nayarit
The Los Toriles Ruins are located about 2 miles from the town of Ixtlan Del Rio in Nayarit. They are also
commonly called the Ruins of Ixtlan Del Rio or the Ixtlan Del Rio Ruins. They are the only mesoamerican
civilization ruins in the western part of Mexico that are this far north, without just being ceremonial or burial
grounds. The main attraction of this archaeological zone is the round shaped temple that was built for
Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl, the god of the wind. Also this site features "Tiros de Tumba", which are shaft graves.
This civilization buried the dead in tombs that were uniquely shaped. They dug holes and then buried
them to the side of the holes. At this site you can go down and see some of the examples of the tombs.
Unfortunately, in the latter part of 2006 thieves broke into this section and then looted the tombs of their
artifacts and skeletons. There is a thriving black market, especially in Europe for people that purchase
these rare and original artifacts from the Meso-American civilizations.
The site has a small museum that gives details on the Tiros de Tumba and examples of how the people
dressed. There are examples of artifacts from the civilization, these artifacts are located outside behind
The site is open everyday rom 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The price is 30 pesos for entry. Senior Citizens
(Older than 60 years), Children (younger than 13 years), handicapped people, retired people, students
and professors do not need to pay admission. Entry on Sundays is free.
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The above photo are the ruins of Ixtlan Del Rio (Los Toriles). According to the INAH (Mexico's National
History Institute), systematic research at Los Toriles began in 1947. Archaeologist Jose Corona Nunez
excavated and restored some of the mounds that are on the Los Toriles grounds. This work was
completed two years later after three field seasons, during which time looting in some shaft tombs was
also reported. The site is from the Early Post Classical period around 900 to 1300 A.D. The constructions
of the site show influence from the Toltecs. Restoration work on the structures at the site continued in
Ixtlan under archaeologist Eduardo Contreras. He restored the south section of the official archaeological
zone in 1967. It was during that field season that the archaeologist Rodolfo Castro, scouring the whole
site, took samplings of material and located the mounds using the grid reference method. Castro reported
77 mounds in the area. It is believe that the site had a dense population, especially to the north of the
ceremonial center. This is based on the amount of household litter that was found during excavations.
EN ESPANOL: Los trabajos de investigacion sistematica empiezan en 1947, cuando el Arqlgo. Jose
Corona Nunez excava y restaura algunos monticulos que se encuentran dentro del rancho Los Toriles.
Estos trabajos concluyen en 1949 despues de tres temporadas de campo, durante las cuales se reporta
tambien el saqueo de algunas tumbas de tiro. El sitio de Los Toriles tiene influencia tolteca del periodo
Postclasico Temprano (900 - 1300 d.C.).
The Topography of the settlement's environs belongs to a moderately sized tableland demarcated to the
north by the Rio Chico and the Sierra Madre Occidental, to the south by the Rio Grande, to the east by an
open corridor which closes at a distance of seven miles with a series of ravines and high points, and to the
west by the town of Ixtlan. The overall site covers an area of about 16,000 square feet. Its altitude is
almost 4,000 feet above sea level and thus has a temperate climate. The rainy season is from June to
September. The average temperature is 64 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The area's predominant
rocks, volcanic in origin, are extrusive igneus from the Cenozoic era with an abundance of obsidian, basalt,
rhyolite, tuff and pumice. Its soils are alluvial in origin with sand and gravel deposits. The Ixtlan region and
its hills abound in stands of pine and oak and the grazing lands characteristic of low decicuous forest.
Typical vegetation here is of a chaparral type consisting of acacia, wild squash, castor-oil plant, gourd,
custard apple, nanche (a fruit related to the acerola), mesquite and also as cacti such as nopales (opuntia)
and organ cactus. The rainy season planting produces mostly crops of corn, beans and squash. Irrigated
crops include sugar cane, garbanzos, peanuts, tomatoes, and garden produce, these combined mainly
with citrus groves.
EN ESPANOL: La topografia del lugar en donde se encuentran los asentamientos, es parte de una
maseta no muy grande que es delimitada por el Rio Chico y parte de la Sierra Madre Occidental, al norte;
al sure por el Rio Grande; al este por un corredor abierto que se sierra a 12 km. con un conjunto de
canadas y elevaciones, y al oeste por el poblado de Ixtlan. Abarca un area aproximada de 4,800 m2. Su
altura es cercana a los 1,200 m. sobre el nivel del mar. Tiene un clima templado, con lluvias en verano
durante los meses de junio a septiembre y un promedio de temperatura anual de 18 grados a 22 grados
C. Las rocas predominantes del area son de origen volcanico, igneos extrusivos de la epoca del
Cenozoico; abundan la obsidiana, el basalto, la riolita, la toba, la andesita y la piedra pomez. Sus sueios
son de origen aluvial con despositos de arena y grava. La region de Ixtlan y sus lomerios presentan
abundancia de bosques del pino, encinal y pastizal, caracteristicos de la selva baja caducifolia. La
vegetacion tipica esta formada por chaparral (huizache, calabacilla, higuerilla), huamuchiles,
juanacastles, hujae, anona, nanche, mezquita, etc. y nopales y organos. El uso agricola es de temporal
permanente con cultivos de maiz, frijol y calabaza principalmente; hay cultivos de riego como cana de
azucar, garbanzo, cacahuate, tomate y hortalizas combinados basicamente con huertas de citricos.