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Back You are here: Home Columns Columns John Pint Sooty march up Cerro El Tepopote: Ruined ruins with a great view

Sooty march up Cerro El Tepopote: Ruined ruins with a great view

Twenty-one years ago, a young U.S. archaeologist knocked on our door and introduced himself. “My name is Chris Beekman. I just came from the jungles of Guatemala where somebody mentioned a caver living near Guadalajara named John Pint. Is that you?”

Not only did we become friends with that archaeologist (now Dr. Christopher S. Beekman) – we became neighbors. He moved into our community soon after and began working on a new project: a study of a nearby archaeological site called Cerro El Tepopote. While you may not recognize its name, you’ve surely seen it looming overhead 14 kilometers west of town on the north side of Highway 15 to Nogales, just where there used to be a most inconvenient military checkpoint.

Tepopote has steep, nearly vertical walls and looks like the ideal place for a fortress. Back around 300 AD, it was also the ideal place for checking out approaching travelers and possible invaders, according to Beekman, who spent several weeks hiking to the top of the Cerro day after day studying the ruins.

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