Tlatilco figure kissing a dog
Tlatilco figurines (from the National Museum of Anthropology, ceramic, Tlatilco, Mesoamerica (present-day Mexico), c. 1200–600 B.C.E.
Tlatilco is a Nahuatl word, given to this “culture” later. It means “place of hidden things.” We don’t know what the people here called themselves. Around 2000 B.C.E., maize, squash and other crops were domesticated, which allowed people to settle in villages. The settlement of Tlatilco was located close to a lake, and fishing and the hunting of birds became important food sources. Archaeologists have found more than 340 burials at Tlatilco, with many more destroyed in the first half of the 20th century.