Teopanzolco is an Aztec archaeological site in the Mexican state of Morelos. Due to urban growth, it now lies within the modern city of Cuernavaca. Most of the visible remains date from the Middle to Late Postclassic Period (1300-1521).
Teopanzolco comes from the Nahuatl language, it has been interpreted as “the place of the old temple”.
Teopanzolco was built upon a hill formed from a lava flow. Although this area is now occupied by the Vista Hermosa district of Cuernavaca, in pre-Columbian times it was an area of coniferous woodland.
Teopanzolco was probably the original centre of the city of Cuauhnahuac during the Early Aztec period (AD 1150–1350) before the ceremonial centre was moved to a more defensible location, now the centre of the modern city of Cuernavaca. After the relocation of the ceremonial center no new construction was undertaken at Teopanzolco.
The site of Teopanzolco was rediscovered in the 1910s, during the Mexican Revolution, when the revolutionary forces of Emiliano Zapata installed an artillery emplacement upon the Great Platform (Building 1) in order to shell federalist positions in the centre of Cuernavaca.
Only the ceremonial centre of Teopanzolco has been preserved. The residential areas of the prehispanic city lie beneath the modern development of Vista Hermosa, for this reason the actual size of the city is unknown.
The surviving remains were built using local basalt. Although nothing survives of the original finishing, the buildings were presumably covered with painted plaster, as at other archaeological sites.
Although the site had been developed by both the Tlahuicas and the Aztecs, the dominant architectural style and the majority of the excavated ceramics are Aztec in origin.