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The earliest occupation dates back to the Early Formative period.
In the 1970s, Mountjoy discovered a waterlogged deposit dating to the Late Middle Formative period near the ancient lake shore.
Estimates suggest that during the Formative period the site extended for about 2 square kilometers, with a population of five to ten thousand.
The Classical period is known for the construction of the Great Pyramid.
It covered 10 square kilometers and had a population of thirty to fifty thousand.
Spanish writings from Colonial times have noted their excellence in dying techniques and ability to dye wool threads in diverse colors to produce a variety of textiles.
Some of the materials they used were cotton, which was probably imported from the Gulf Coast or Southern Puebla, and maguey, feathers, rabbit fur, tree silk, milkweed, and human hair that were all locally found.
Maize is the major crop cultivated but they also harvested maguey Cholula’s strategical location in the center of the Mexican highlands gives it a prime place as a trade outpost.
Here, trade routes connected the Gulf coast, the Valley of Mexico, Tehuacan Valley, and La Mixteca Baja through Izucar de Matamoros.