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| || Before Zacatecas was founded by Spanish settlers, it was inhabited by the Caxcán and Guachichile natives. Zacateco, as it was called, refers the grasslands (zacate) in the area. The La Quemada settlement, also known as Chicomóztoc (translated as “seven caves” in the Náhuatl language) Ruins, shows that the area was first inhabited between 500 A.D. and 900 A.D. The area of La Quemada is still one of the more fascinating archaelogical finds in the country due to it's unique beauty atop a hillside. Located 56 kilometers southwest of Zacatecas city, the location is highly fortified and built upon an important north to south trading route. It is believed that La Quemada, along with Chalchihuites and other nearby areas in Zacatecas and Durango are the “northern boundary” of Meso-American civilization. Today, La Quemada can be found in the municipality of Villanueva on Federal Highway 54 Zacatecas-Guadalajara. There is a popular museum located at the site.|
Zacatecas was originally silver a mining state. Many mines were found in the area, and it was the main mining area of the country of Mexico. The silver was mined and then transported around the world by the Spanish.
In May 1835, Mexican federalists in Zacatecas rose in revolt against Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who had suspended the Mexican Constitution and established a dictatorship the previous year. Santa Anna responded by crushing the rebels. He then rewarded his centralist soldiers by allowing them two days of rape and pillage in Zacatecas, during which more than two thousand noncombatants were killed.
In 1914, during the Mexican Revolution, Zacatecas witnessed the bloodiest combat of the Mexican Revolution, in a battle known as the Toma de Zacatecas (Taking of Zacatecas) between the Federal armies of Victoriano Huerta and the Constititutionalist troops of General Francisco Villa. Villa's victory led to the end of the Huerta regime. A monument to the battle and General Villa is at the summit of the Cerro de la Bufa overlooking the city.
Mining is now no longer as important a part of the local economy, and in fact the primary mine (the Mina El Edén) has been converted into a tourist attraction, including an underground disco in a large hollowed out cave. Indeed, the city of Zacatecas is a popular tourist destination for Mexicans, and many of the local businesses cater to them.
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