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The DiscoveryThe MayasThe Site


The Beginning

The origins of European organization as we know it today, in the minds of some historians coincide with the year 1066, at the Battle of Hastings. Imagine, the Mayan Site of Santa Leticia already had been existing for more than 1,000 years!. The lush vegetation that embraced the highlands of the Lamatepec Mountain Region, was at the same time witness and participant along with these ancient people that gave rise to what later became the Mayan Civilization.

El Salvador is located in the heart of Central America, and forms part of the tropical region. Our boundaries are, to the North, Honduras, to the West, Guatemala, to the East, Nicaragua, and to the South, the Pacific Ocean. One particular and interesting detail is that, if we go South through the Pacific Ocean, we would find no land mass until we reach Antartica.

The Site of Santa Leticia lies at an altitude of 1400 meters on the coffee cultivated slope called, Cerrito de Apaneca , (a volcanic peak in the province of Ahuachapán). The archaeological zone, of approximately 15 hectares, includes earthen mounds, a massive artificial terrace, and three stone monuments of the distinctive , "potbelly style". The smallest monument weighs 14,000lbs., and the largest 21,000lbs.

"During the pre-classical period, more or less 500 BC, a strong demographic expansion took place , especially in the low lands of under 1,000 meters. It was at that time when the settlement of Santa Leticia developed, bringing along an important cultural growth, given to the expansion of contact in between the different communities, establishing complex systems or cultural spheres. One of these systems was integrated by, Santa Leticia, Chalchuapa, and Atiquizaya".

"Santa Leticia is considered a very important site, the occupation of this site was not only of agricultural settlers, but it emerged to be an important ceremonial center. The majority of information available for the reconstruction of the every day life of the communities during this period comes from Santa Leticia". (Ministerio de Educación de la República deEl Salvador, Historia de El Salvador,Tomo I, 1994, 27).