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City (pop., 2000: 113,947), capital of Zacatecas state, Mexico. It lies in a deep, narrow ravine about 8,200 ft (2,500 m) above sea level. Founded in 1548, two years after silver was discovered in the area, it was given city status in 1585. Until the 19th century, the mines around Zacatecas yielded one-fifth of the world's silver. Mining is still important to the economy, but the city is also a commercial and manufacturing centre and is noted for its cathedral. The extensive Indian ruins of Chicomóztoc are nearby, southwest of the city.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Zacatecas, visit Britannica.com.