Monte Redondo

The site known as Monte Redondo was first noted in the 1920's as "Pueblo Viejo." There was a settlement of that name near the site until the 1980's. Everyone fled during the civil conflict and, to date, only one family has returned. In February 2000, Paul Amaroli, Carlos Rodriguez and Rodrigo Brito visited the site in order to look it over and to officially register it. They registered it as Monte Redondo, the modern name of the hill the site is on because places named "Pueblo Viejo" are so numerous in El Salvador.

Monte Redondo is located about 5 km. to the north of the Aguilares-Suchitoto road. Today the site is covered with brush and pasture, but the platforms which cover the hill are easily seen. Most appear to be house platforms, low and rectangular, some with a notch in one corner, as is seen in the large house platforms at Cihuatán. The largest structures noted are several long, low platforms, too big for ordinary domestic use. No pyramids or ball courts have yet been found.


Panoramic view from Monte Redondo. From left to right are the Volcán de Guazapa (A), the Volcán de San Salvador (B) and the Loma de Cihuatán (C), the low brown elevation in front of a hill in the background.

The top of the Monte Redondo hill affords an excellent view of the Acelhuate Valley and the Volcán de Guazapa. From this vantage point the Loma de Cihuatán is also visible, some 6 km. to the west and possibly the now inundated Santa María would have also been visible from the site.

Angel Santamaría, a member of the only family to return after the civil conflict, reports that he has found both Plumbate and Las Lajas Coarse pottery—in the form of the foot of a large feline effigy—at the site.

Monte Redondo was probably abandoned in the events that caused the destruction and abandonment of the other Guazapa Phase sites in this region. At the time of the Spanish invasions there was a Pipil community called Tzicalco ("Ant House") fairly close by Monte Redondo.

 
Carlos Rodriguez, Rodrigo Brito, and Paul Amaroli on top on one of the long platforms as Monte Redondo. Standing on one platform, Angel Santamaría indicates the direction where many other platforms are located.

All photographs by Paul Amaroli.

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