Rancho Pint - The Mexico Page

Text and Photos ©2016 by J. Pint unless otherwise indicated

Photo Gallery

Archaeologist Phil Weigand
In 1969 archaeologist Phil Weigand found the Guachimontones. "I  stood on the largest pyramid, looked around and thought: This is unexpected." Weigand then devoted the rest of his life to studying the lost civilization of Teuchitlán.

Guachimontones by John Pint

Each round pyramid is encircled by a flat ring for spectators or for dancing the cadena. Around this is a circle of platforms for buildings. The Teuchitlán nation is thought to be the only one in the world whose monumental architecture is based on concentric circles.

Teuchitlan birdmen by John Pint

A tall pole stood atop each circular pyramid. On it a "bird man" representing the god Ehectatl, would balance on his stomach while the pole was moved by onlookers. These poles may have given rise to the ceremony of the "voladores" who fly through the air attached to the pole by unwinding ropes.

Ball Game - Painting by Jorge Monroy

In the Teuchitlán tradition, the ball game was played from sunrise to sunset, often to settle squabbles. The ball could only be hit with the hips. Painting by Jorge Monroy.

Phil Weigand excavating ball court

Dr. Phil Weigand excavating the Guachimontones ball court, which proved to be 111 meters long, the longest in Mesoamerica until the year 100 A.D.

Huitzilapa Tomb, photo: Donativo, Secretaría de Cultura del Estado de Jalisco

The shaft tomb of Huitzilapa, where the skeletons of six people were found, together with over 60,000 artifacts.
Photo: Donativo, Secretaría de Cultura del Estado de Jalisco, Centro Interpretativo Guachimontones Phil Weigand







The lost civilization of Teuchitlán: in English and Spanish


Guide to West Mexico's GuachimontonesThis new book, published in August of 2016, tells the story of the wholly forgotten nation which--2000 years ago-- ruled a territory in West Mexico the size of Guatemala. Unlike the Aztecs and Mayas, their name was never known, but today they are called the people of the Teuchitlán Tradition, after the site where many of their trademark "circular pyramids" were excavated and studied during the last twenty years.

A Guide to West Mexico's Guachimontones and Surrounding Area, The Lost Civilization of Teuchitlán by John Pint, was published by Acento Editores, Guadalajara, Mexico. This slim volume has 68 pages, 87 color photos and six maps and sketches. The text is in English and Spanish, side by side.

The book costs 130 pesos (US$6.63) plus postage and handling and can be purchased from ranchopint@hotmail.com.

It is for sale at the Guachimontones Interpretive Center atTeuchitlán, at Gonvil Librerías in Guadalajara and at La Perla Records & Books, Pedro Moreno 1530, Tel (33) 1525 3015, Guadalajara.


Three-dimensional Clay Models, 2000 Years Old

I had no clue what the Guachimontones represented until one day in 1997, when I heard rumors about an American archaeologist living in the town of Etzatlán, 26 kilometers northwest of Teuchitlán. Tracking down a foreigner in a small Mexican town is easy and this is how I first met Phil Weigand. One of his many endearing characteristics was his total lack of pretentiousness and his willingness to share his discoveries—at length, I might add—with anyone who would listen, and I do mean anyone, even the humblest rancher or laborer.

“Look at these clay models of people gathered around the Guachimontones,” he said. “I've just had them made. Each one is a faithful copy of a 2000-year-old original found right here in this part of Jalisco. Aren't they amazing?”

“Amazing” doesn't do justice to those clay models. Unlike the silent ruins in the hills above Teuchitlán, these maquetas de barro are full of life. We see dozens of people socializing, dancing, making music, playing ball or watching the ball game, pushing against the tall pole which topped every pyramid in what looks like a playful attempt to knock a “bird man” off his perch. Even their dogs are included in the picture. Unlike the stylized drawings found in codices, these clay models show ordinary people having a good time. They are like family snapshots in three dimensions. Approximately 25 clay sculptures related to the Teuchitlán pyramids have been found, each of them different. Most of the originals are now in the USA, many in museums...


1. A Unique Civilization in Western Mexico 
2. Phil and Acelia Weigand 
3. Three-dimensional Clay Models, 2000 Years Old 
4. The Ball Game 
5. Daily Life 
6. Obsidian 
7. Shaft Tombs 
8. Teuchitlán Twilight 
9. The Guachimontones: A Quick Tour 
10. The Guachimontones Interpretive Center “Phil Weigand” 
11. Teuchitlan the Town: What to See and Where to Eat and Sleep 
12. Balneario El Rincón Water Park 
13. The Teuchitlan Walking Trail and La Vega Restaurants 
14. El Pedernal Obsidian Flow 
15. Hacienda El Carmen Hotel-Restaurant-Spa 
16. Hacienda Labor De Rivera Hotel-Boutique and Restaurant 
17. The Tecpan of Oconahua: Mexico’s Largest Indigenous Palace 
18. The Tala Museum 
19. Other Attractions in Western Mexico 
20. Bibliography 

Guachimontones at Sunset by John Pint



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