Thursday, December 2

Nearly 500 pre-Hispanic ceremonial sites are discovered in southern Mexico

The discovery is related to the largest site of the Mayan culture.

HUGO BORGES/AFP / Getty Images

Tucson (EE.UU.), 25 oct (EFE) .- A team of international researchers led by the University of Arizona discovered almost 500 pre-Hispanic ceremonial sites in southern Mexico, in a finding that modifies theories about the origins of Mesoamerican civilization, it was reported this Monday.

The discovery is related to the discovery of the largest and oldest Mayan culture site, called Aguada Fénix and carried out last year by the same team of researchers in the state of Tabasco (Mexico).

This new discovery of almost 500 smaller ceremonial sites but similar in shape and characteristics to that of Aguada Fénix transforms the previous understanding of previous studies of Mesoamerican civilization and the relationship between the Mayan culture and the Olmecs.

There is a debate among experts as to whether the Olmec civilization led to the development of the Mayan civilization or whether the Mayans developed independently.

The newly discovered sites are located over a wide area in the present-day states of Tabasco and Veracruz that encompasses the region that was populated by the Olmecs and the lowlands of the Western Maya.

These ceremonial centers were probably built between 1100 BC and 400 BC.

The researchers found that the discovered sites share similar characteristics with the first center in the Olmec area known as San Lorenzo, which reached its peak of development between 1400 and 1100 BC.

At Aguada Fénix, in the Mayan area and other ceremonial sites they began to adopt the shape of San Lorenzo around 1100 BC.

“The sites are large horizontally but not vertically,” said Takeshi Inomata, professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, in a press release.

“People always thought that San Lorenzo was unique and different from what came next in terms of the layout of the site. But now we show that San Lorenzo is very similar to Aguada Fénix. This is very important, it tells us that this site was probably the beginning of some of these ideas that were later used by the Mayans ”, added the researcher.

Inomata is also the author of an article on this important discovery that is published this Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

The discovery was made thanks to data collected through a laser mapping technique. in the air called LIDAR.

This technique manages to penetrate the undergrowth of the trees and reflects three-dimensional forms of archaeological features hidden under the vegetation.

These data were collected in conjunction with the Mexican government organization of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. EFE

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