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San Pedro Laundry, Aztahuacan

The San Pedro Laundry is famous as the site of the 1953 discovery of the oldest human remains to be recovered in the Valley of Mexico. A historic marker placed in 1983 is one of the most important aspects of what is essentially, even today, a historic public laundry. The site is also an important neighborhood playground and meeting place.

  • The Aztahuacan Fossils were uncovered in 1953 during an expansion of the laundry which was fed at the time by a natural spring. The remains were identified as those of a woman of 25 to 30 years old; and two men, one aged 25 to 30, and the other aged 35 to 45 years old. The skeletons were nearly complete. Faces are wider and taller than those of later hominid remains found in Mexico City. After decades of rigorous study, researchers concluded they were likely hunter-gatherers who’d died during the Upper Pleistocene. In 1989, radiocarbon dating put the ages at 10,300 (+/-  600) years ago.
  • Today the remains are part of the Pre-Ceramic Collection maintained by the National Institute of Anthropology & History (INAH). It includes artifacts from prior to the invention of ceramic firing. Replicas of the skulls make up part of the collection of the Museo del Fuego Nuevo.

The Laundry

Some limited hand laundering still gets done at San Pedro. Most area residents today have home washing machines. But one can immediately sense the history of the community here. Generations of homemakers not only did the washing, but tended their kids, and socialized, too. Tending kids and socializing still goes on. A shrine dedicated to Saint Peter recalls that the area, the Barrio San Pedro, once kept a larger chapel here.

The San Pedro Laundry is about a five-minute walk directly north of the Parish Church and the Aztahuacan clock area.

How to get here
  • Avenida México & San Pedro, Santa María Aztahuacan, Iztapalapa, 09500 CDMX


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