In the sixteenth century , Aztecs and Spaniards called the north of the central plateau of Mexico (never conquered by the Aztecs) , " La Gran Chichimeca " which covers the states of Jalisco , Aguascalientes, Nayarit , Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Coahuila and Zacatecas. All its inhabitants were called Chichimecas, even those from different cultures, languages, and tribes. Archaeologists have found that in what is now the state of Zacatecas, there were four primary tribes: "Caxcanes, Guachiles, Tepehuanes and Zacatecos". It’s from “zacatecos” that the state gets its name. Zacatecas was the name that Aztecs gave to the inhabitants of the region of “La Bufa hill”. This word comes from Nahuatl language and means "people of the land where grass abounds” (zácatl = grass and co = place).
In the capital, there are lots of monuments, internationally recognized for its baroque, gothic, Churrigueresco, and colonial styles.
Mining is the oldest activities in Zacatecas, and one of the most important. It includes the extraction of silver, gold, mercury, iron, zinc, lead, bismuth, antimony, salt, copper, quartz, and onyx quarry among other minerals. These riche mines were discovered soon after the conquest. Some of them (and most famous of Mexico) date from 1546. Nowadays, Mexico is the largest producer of silver in the world.