Mixco Viejo is an archaeological site in the north east of the
of Guatemala, some 50 km to the north of Guatemala City and 4km from the junction of the rivers Pixcaya and
It is a moderate sized ruined city of the Post-Classic Era Maya civilization
There is considerable confusion as to whether the site currently
known as Mixco Viejo is the same as the Mixco Viejo described in
Mixco Viejo in history
Mixco was the capital of the Pocomam Maya kingdom
, and was
sometimes known as Pocomam
in addition to Mixco
. The site was
founded on a defensive location mountain top in the 12th century.
The peak population in the early 16th century may have been around
10,000 people. It was conquered by Spanish Conquistador Pedro
de Alvarado in 1525 after a siege of more than 3 months.
The Conquistadors then had the city burnt and depopulated.
historical Mixco Viejo has been identified as Chinautla Viejo (Old
Chinautla), near the modern town of Mixco.
Although the site now known as Mixco Viejo was traditionally
considered the Pocomam capital, recent investigations have instead
identified the ruins as the capital of the Kaqchikel
Maya, and have suggested that its
identification as the historical Mixco Viejo is the result of
confusion in the interpretation of colonial records.
The ruins consist of 15 groups containing the remains of over 120
major structures, including temples, palaces, and courts for
playing the Mesoamerican
Archeological excavations were carried out
from 1954 through 1967 by the Musée de l'Homme of Paris under the
direction of archaeologist Henri Lehmann, who certainly believed
that he was excavating the Pocomam capital as described in Colonial
The site is open to the public and has a small museum