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72Mil BC
A helmet-crested, duck-billed dinosaur lived about this time in northeastern Mexico. In 2008 the species was named Velafrons coahuilensis.
Links: Mexico, Dinosaur, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
66.038Mil BC
About this time a comet struck the area of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula and created a crater, known today as Chicxulub, about 150-180 miles (200 km) in diameter. The area at this time was covered by ocean. The asteroid was initially believed to have been 6-12 miles (10 km) in diameter. It left a thin layer of iridium in rock strata around the world. Evidence for this was gathered by Luis Alvarez. The asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, about 80% of the world’s plants species and all animals bigger than a cat. In 2002 it also was estimated to have wiped out 55-60% of the plant-eating insects. A high oxygen level may have contributed to a worldwide firestorm. In 1997 Walter Alvarez published "T. Rex and the Crater of Doom," an account of this critical event. The impact was estimated at 5 billion times greater than the atomic bombs of WW II. In 2007 US and Czech researchers used computer simulations to calculate that there was a 90 percent probability that the collision of two asteroids in 160 Mil BC was the event that precipitated the Chicxulub disaster. In 2008 new research using an osmium isotope indicated that the responsible asteroid was about 2.5 miles wide. In 2013 scientists said this date was accurate to give or take 11,000 years.
Links: Mexico, Comet, Dinosaur, Asteroid, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
10Mil BC
Oceanic spreading began a process of mountain building in southern California, including formation of the San Andreas Fault, migration of the Baja California peninsula away from the mainland of Mexico, the loss of summer rainfall and the diversification of species.
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50000 BC
In 2017 scientists in Mexico discovered microbial life trapped in crystals in caves in Naica that dated to about this time.
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11000 BC
Scientists in 2001-2002 discovered skeletons in caves along Mexico’s Yucatan coast that dated to about this time.
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11000 BC
Peñon Woman, found in central Mexico in 1959, dated to about this time. She shared many of the features found in the Kennewick Man (1996) of Washington State.
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11000 BC
In 2007 Alberto Nava, a California cave diver, and two Mexican dive budies discovered a human skeleton in a deep underwater cave in Mexico’s Yucatan jungle. In 2014 scientists said the skeleton was that of a young girl who probably fell into the cave about this time. DNA evidence linked her to modern native Americans.
Links: Mexico, AmerIndian, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2500 BC
In 2006 researchers reported a 4,500-year-old burial in Mexico that showed front teeth ground down so they could be mounted with animal teeth. It was the oldest example of dental work in the Americas.
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1600 BC
1250 BC
An earthen mound on the southern Mexico-Guatemala border dated to this period and was considered part of a chiefdom center of the Mokaya people.
Links: Guatemala, Mexico, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1600 BC
The Paso de Amada site of Chiapas, Mexico, was first settled about this time in the Soconusco region, which extended down the Pacific coast into Guatemala. The town numbered about 2,000 people, who were later dubbed the Mokaya (maize people).
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1500 BC
A court to play ulama was built about this time in Chiapas, Mexico. Olmecs used latex balls for the game. The Olmecs processed rubber using latex from rubber trees mixed with juice from the morning glory vine. The rubber was used to make a bouncy ball for their ball games.
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1400 BC
400 BC
The Olmecs, who called themselves Xi, were the earliest known civilization of Mesoamerica. They influenced the subsequent civilizations of the Maya and Aztec. They inhabited the Gulf Coast region of what is now Mexico and Central America. Their capital was San Lorenzo, near the present day city of Verazcruz.
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1250 BC
1150 BC
This time frame is referred to as the Initial Olmec Period of southern Mexico.
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1200 BC
The tradition of the Mokaya people at coastal Chiapas and Guatemala came to a sudden end about this time. This appeared to coincide with the rise of the Olmec people.
Links: Guatemala, Mexico, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1150 BC
1000 BC
This time frame is referred to as the Early Olmec Period of southern Mexico.
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1000 BC
The settlement at Canton Corralito on the southern Mexico-Guatemala border covered at least 60 acres by this time and was believed to be a colony of the Gulf Olmec people. About this time the nearby Coatan River began to rise and engulfed the settlement.
Links: Guatemala, Mexico, Olmec, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
900 BC
In 2006 Mexican archeologists discovered a stone block in Veracruz state inscribed with 62 distinct signs that dated to about this time. The Cascajal stone was attributed to the Olmecs, who civilization lasted from about 1200BC-400BC.
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900 BC
500 BC
This time frame is referred to as the Late Olmec Period of southern Mexico, which featured pyramids for the first time in ceremonial centers. La Venta, the 2nd major Olmec capital dates to this period.
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800 BC
500 BC
Zazacatla in central Mexico covered less than one square mile between during this period. Inhabitants of Zazacatla adopted Olmec styles when they changed from a simple, egalitarian society to a more complex, hierarchical one. Much of it was later covered by housing and commercial development extending from Cuernavaca.
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100
150
Archeologists in 1998 uncovered evidence of a pre-Columbian civilization from under the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan that was dated to this time. The skeleton of a man was found by a team led by Saburo Sugiyama. The most important and largest city of pre-Colombian central Mexico, the Nahuatl meaning of Teotihuacan was "Where Men Become Gods" or "The City of Gods." Just north of Mexico City, Teotihuacan was planned at about the beginning of the Christian era and was sacked and burned by invading Toltecs in 650.
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200
300
Campeche (Mexico), from the 3rd century, was the principal town of the Maya kingdom of Ah Kin Pech (place of serpents and ticks).
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300
Mayans began building on Cozumel Island off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula about this time. The town of San Gervasio was built and inhabited through 1650. Cozumel covers 189 square miles, about the size of Lake Tahoe.
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500
Teotihuacan people built a 60-foot pyramid about this time in what later became known as Iztapalapa, Mexico. It was abandoned after about 300 years, when the Teotihuacan culture collapsed. Archeologists began to unveil the site in 2004.
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620
The town of Cholula was founded in central Mexico. It was later said to be the oldest continuously occupied town in all of North America.
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688
714
The Maya of Tonina and Palenque fought several battles over watershed areas in the region that fed the Usumacinta river, which now marks the boundary between Mexico and Guatemala.
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692 Oct 2
A Mayan prisoner from Copan, depicted in a well-preserved stone sculpture found in 2011, was captured on this day.
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696 Jun 27
A Mayan ballcourt at Tonina was dedicated and sculptures, found in 2011, were created to commemorate the dedication.
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1200
In 2007 Mexican archeologists discovered the ruins of an Aztec pyramid in the heart of Mexico City that dated to about this time.
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1325
The Aztecs founded Tenochtitlan, later known as Mexico City, about this time.
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1450
In Mexico City an Aztec cornerstone ceremony took place about this time intended to dedicate a new layer of building. In 2005 archeologists found a child found at the Templo Mayor ruins who was apparently killed as part of a ceremony dedicated to the war god Huitzilopochtli.
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1502
Ahuizotl, ruler of the Aztecs, died and was cremated on a funeral pyre about this time at the foot of the Templo Mayor pyramid. In 2007 Mexican archeologists found underground chambers in Mexico City they believed to contain his remains.
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1502
Moctezuma Xocoyotl (Montezuma II), an Aztec prince, inherited the Aztec throne becoming the 9th ruler of the Aztecs.
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1519 Mar 27
A truce was arranged with Cortes when Mayan caciques brought food and gold as well as 20 female slaves. Among these was a young woman from Jalisco named Marina, who had been stolen from a noble family when small and sold into slavery, where she learned the language of Yucatán. As a bilingual translator from Aztec to Mayan, Marina played a major role in the eventual conquest of Tenochtitlán.
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1519 Apr 21
Hernan Cortes landed at Veracruz, Mexico, on Holy Thursday.
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1519
Cortes found the court of Moctezuma to have a ravenous appetite for turkeys. The gobblers, later served for Thanksgiving, returned to North America only after their Mexican ancestors had crossed the Atlantic twice, first to Spain and then back from England.
Links: Spain, Mexico, Food, Birds     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1521 Aug 31
Spanish conqueror Cortez (1485-1547), having captured the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, set it on fire. Nearly 100,000 people died in the siege and some 100,000 more died afterwards of smallpox. In 2008 Buddy levy authored “Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs.”
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1521
Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who accompanied Cortes in the conquest of Mexico, counted tens of thousands of skulls at what became known as the Huey Tzompantli in Tenochtitlan, later Mexico City. Archeologist later identified crania of women and children among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.
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1533
Spaniards arrived at Zaci, the capital of the Cupul Maya, in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and were pushed out.
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1537 Aug
Castaway Don Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca returned from Mexico to Spain where he wrote an account of his 3,000 mile journey through North American and his experiences with the Indians. In 2006 Paul Schneider authored “Brutal Journey: The True Story of the First Crossing of North America.” Schneider used de Vaca’s original memoir as well as an official report prepared by survivors of the Narvaez expedition.
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1540
Spaniards settled Campeche, Mexico. Montejo the Younger, the founder of Merida, gained a foothold at Campeche.
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1542
In Mexico Catholic priest Miguel de Palomares died and was buried inside Mexico City’s first cathedral, near an altar. In 2016 engineers discovered a stone slab thought to cover his tomb.
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1543 May 24
The city of Valladolid, Mexico, was founded in the Yucatan peninsula.
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1546
A coalition of eastern Maya laid siege to Valladolid, in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Spanish conquistadores brutally crushed a major Mayan rebellion in New Spain.
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1561
A great hurricane ravaged Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
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1562 Aug 8
Diego Te, a Maya man in the Yucatec town of Sotuta, testified that a year earlier he had witnessed a village leader and another man cut the hearts from 2 boys and hand them to a shaman, who rubbed the hearts onto the mouths of two Maya idols. The account was preserved in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain.
Links: Spain, Mexico, Maya, Religion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1562
In the Yucatan a campaign to root out idolatry ended with the destruction of thousands of ritual objects and most of the Maya books in existence. The campaign was led by Franciscan leader Diego de Landa, who was later tried in Spain for his excessive behavior and acquitted. He recorded the oral traditions of the Maya in “An Account of the Things of the Yucatan” before returning there in 1573 as Bishop of Yucatan.
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1564
In Mexico the monastery of Tecpatan was founded in southern Chiapas state.
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1565 Oct 8
Spanish Friar Andres de Urdaneta arrived in Acapulco after sailing as far as 38 degrees North latitude to obtain favorable winds. 14 of the crew died on the voyage from the Philippines. During the voyage he sighted land believed to be the California coast. His route became famous and trusted for sailing from Manila to Acapulco and became known as the Manila galleon. In 1939 William Lytle Schurz authored “The Manila Galleon.”
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1565
The Iglesia de San Roque was built in Campeche, Mexico.
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1576 Jul
The Spanish ship San Felipe departed Manila for the port of Acapulco. It wrecked on the coast of Baha, California. Artifacts from the wreckage were later used to identify the ship.
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1576
In Mexico the town of Mineral de Pozos was founded as a mining town. In 1982 the Mexican government declared it a national historic treasure.
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1577
Francisco Hernandez, Spanish explorer traveling through Mexico’s highlands, noted the many uses of the maguey (agave) plant. He cited it as a useful fuel, a material for cloth and ropes, with sap used to make vinegar and wine.
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1581
Bernal Diaz del Castillo (b.1492/93), Spanish conquistador and governor of Santiago de los Caballeros (Antigua, Guatemala), died. He wrote “Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de Nueva España” (True History of the Conquest of New Spain) in response to claims made in the earlier work by Cortes’ chaplain. It was not published until his manuscript was found in Madrid in 1632.
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1614
Japan sent samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga to Europe via Acapulco to to request the right to trade directly with New Spain (Mexico).
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1631 Oct 14
The ship Our Lady of Juncal set sail from the Gulf coast port of Veracruz, as part of a 19-ship fleet bearing described only as "a valuable shipment of the goods obtained by the king's ministers to feed the Spanish empire." Most of the fleet never made it.
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1668
A fortified wall was completed at Campeche, Mexico, to ward off pirate attacks.
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1695 Apr 17
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (b.~1648), Mexican nun and poet, died of plague.
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1731
Luis Berrueco, Mexican painter, painted “The Martyrs of Gorkum,” a detailed work depicting the 1572 martyrdom of 19 Catholics in Gorinchem, Netherlands, during the Dutch war for independence.
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1767 Jun 25
Mexican Indians rioted as Jesuit priests were ordered home. Spain expelled the Jesuits from Mexico and their work was taken over by the Dominican Fathers.
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1769 Jul 16
Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcala, the 1st mission in Calif. The Franciscan friars soon planted cuttings of olive trees. California’s first olive press was established in Ventura County in 1871. Serra went on to build nine missions along the coast and to take over tribal lands.
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