The Los Reyes La Paz Archaeological Site is a major pyramid site on the far eastern edge of Mexico City. It’s roughly a 20-minute walk from Metro Los Reyes, in the State of Mexico, and visible from the slopes of San Miguel Teotongo. Los Reyes Acaquilpan still bears the name of the ancient name of the town that once stood here.
Azaquilpan or Axaquilpan usually translates to “on the grass of the sand.” INAH scientists working here determined, through analysis of the ceramics found in the area, the following chronology of the site.
Three constructive stages of artifacts correspond to the Early, Middle and Late Post-classic periods. The oldest correspond to the Mazapa Phase (800-1100 C.E.). The town emerged under the influence of Tula, the dominant power in the central highlands in around 800 C.E. Some smaller settlements east of the current site were abandoned at about that time.
About 400 years later (ca. 1200 C.E.), nomadic groups from the north of Mexico began settling in the central Mexican highlands. They are believed to have taken over the Los Reyes site during this period. Many Toltec (Tula) sites had been abandoned with the decline of that civilization after 1050 C.E.
The continued advances of Nahua speaking peoples resulted in the consolidation of Azcapotzalco, Tenayuca, Cuautitlán, Texcoco and Chalco around the beginning of the 15th century. Los Reyes was then in all likelihood paying tribute to Chimalhuacán, which was in turn a dependent of Texcoco. The resulting town had several hundred inhabitants at its peak. They were likely primarily dedicated to mining basalt stone used for construction, although they undoubtedly fished, too.
The site was nearly entirely abandoned with the Spanish invasion. Visitors today see the large base with a pyramid of three staggered bodies. These were built in three stages between 1100-1200 C.E and again prior to 1521.
The pyramid is one of very few oriented to the west, and is thus likely associated with Huitzilopochtli, the deity of the sun.