The oldest and largest Mayan Monument discovered

The distinctive pyramid cities of the Mayan culture like Tikal in Guatemala are to be found in any travel guide, but countless of their former Monumental buildi

The oldest and largest Mayan Monument discovered

The distinctive pyramid cities of the Mayan culture like Tikal in Guatemala are to be found in any travel guide, but countless of their former Monumental buildings, houses, roads, drainage ditches, water reservoirs, supply of terraces are located in dense rain forest hidden.

to make these overgrown structures visible, buttons to researchers since 2017 from the plane with Laser-scanners, the border area between Mexico and Guatemala, systematic to the eye-catching floor structures. By means of this so-called Lidar technology (light detection and ranging) could you make it so in the past few years, a new spectacular finds visible and fascinating new insights into the Mayan culture.

Sensational discovery among lush Vegetation

In the Mexican state of Tabasco, archaeologists have now discovered with this method, yet probably the largest and oldest monument Alan location of the Mayan culture. In derFachzeitschrift Nature, researchers report Takeshi Inormata from the University of Arizona with 21 larger and smaller ceremonial centers, which were spatially laid out, all very similar.

The largest complex is Aguada Fénix with a rectangular Plateau, which is more than 1400 meters long and 400 meters wide. This man-made Plateau extends in a North-South direction and rises above the surrounding flat land 10 to 15 meters.

By means of the radiocarbon method have been dated the oldest finds from Aguada Fénix to about 3200 years. Accordingly, the construction of the great platform, is said to have started around the year 1000 BC, and about 200 years in several phases continue to be. This would be according to Inomata, not only the largest but also the oldest monument Alan location of the Maya, which has yet to be identified.

hierarchy-free community creates community work?

In contrast to the steep Mayan pyramids to the classical and late classical period, the mono-mental plateau of Aguada Fénix offered very many people. The authors conclude that the monument to Alan for a and of a largely hierarchy-free community, were built.

Also the fact that, so far, in Aguada Fénix no sculptures of individuals with a high Status were found, would, in the opinion of the researchers that the Maya in the early stages of living in a classless society without major social differences, in which the collaborative work took on Central importance.

was Only "later times there were powerful rulers and administrative systems, which forced people to work. But this place is much older, and we see no evidence of a powerful Elite. This is rather the result of collaborative work", the researchers Takeshi Inomata.

time-historical context

The first Maya were broken from about 1500 BC from the highlands in Guatemala to the North, in the direction of the Yucatán Peninsula. The heyday of the Mayan culture that stretched from present-day southern Mexico to Honduras only reached, for example between 200 and 800 ad. The decline was manifested with the to Leave their city-States in the 9. and 10. Century.

The ceremonial complex Aguada Fénix not change according to Inomata, only the image of the early Maya, but is also a link to the even older Olmec culture, considered to be the first high culture of Central America.

The recent discoveries show that the Maya lived obviously earlier than expected in cities with monumental installations. Previously, archaeologists had assumed that sedentariness was the prerequisite for common religious ceremonies, commenting on the anthropologist Patricia McAnany of the University of North Carolina finds. "The new evidence suggests that it was the other way around". The anthropology concludes from the fact that it was the first religious celebration in monumental installations, before village life developed.

Many questions remain

Whether these far-reaching social conclusions, and have only existed due to the finds made in fact, it will show. Because, of course, many questions remain as yet unanswered.

About the Central question of why the Maya operated at all more than 3000 years ago such a burden and alone for the main platform, estimated to be 3.2 to 4.3 million cubic metres of earth on the piled.

What is the function of had the Central Plateau? As a solar Observatory, the Monument was not used probably. Because the assumption, from the Western hill would be the summer and winter solstice, the sunrise in the corners of the Eastern platform to observe, is not the case.

Although the system is oriented to the East, but not precisely, aligned, also gives the archaeologist Inomata, on the assumption that on the Plateau, rituals in connection with the solar calendar were held.

it is Totally unclear why the elaborate complex of Aguada Fénix and all the surrounding facilities were abandoned after only a few years of 750 BC again.

May the climate have caused changes, to ensure that the people had to move on, and the lush Vegetation of the early settlement traces overgrown again.

author: Alexander friend

*will be published, discovered, The contribution of "the Oldest and largest Mayan Monument" of Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Date Of Update: 04 June 2020, 11:26

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