MOSCOW, 3 Dec — RIA Novosti. Scientists have found in Mexico the earliest and largest known to date, a monumental building of the Mayan civilization. About the discovery reported in the journal Nature.
traditionally, Archaeologists believed that the Mayan civilization developed gradually — first in the 1000-350 BC there were small villages, then people began to use ceramics and learned how to grow corn. However, the recent discovery of an ancient ceremonial center on an artificial plateau Seibal in Guatemala, Dating from 950 BC, put this model into question.
Now, American archaeologists from the University of Arizona found in the municipality of Tabasco, in Mexico, near the border with Guatemala hidden under the earth, a huge monument of the same early period.
All this, the scientists saw through the use of lidar technology in remote sensing from the air using lasers, allowing to obtain information about the hidden under surface objects. Great support here has had scientists of the national Institute of anthropology and history of Mexico, received from the authorities permission for aerial surveys.
“Using lidar low resolution provided by the Mexican government, we saw this huge platform. Then we performed the lidar survey, high resolution and confirmed the presence of large buildings — presented in press release the words of head of research, Professor Takeshi Inomata (Takeshi Inomata) from the School of anthropology of the University of Arizona. — This area is not a jungle, where people live. Previously this area was not known, because it is huge and flat. He looked just as natural landscape. But lidar shows that a well-planned building.”
the researchers Then conducted an excavation and discovered 69 samples suitable for radiocarbon Dating. The results showed that the complex was built between 1000 and 800 BC, making it the oldest monumental building of the Mayan culture, and the largest for its size it is far superior to the pyramids and palaces of later periods.
Scientists say that, despite the fact that the complex Aguada-Phoenix similar to the ancient Olmec center San Lorenzo in the Mexican state of Veracruz, there are no colossal stone sculpture — head and thrones, associated with rulers and the elite, characteristic of the Olmec.
“there was Always debate about whether the Mayan civilization with alimacani, or it evolved independently, explains Inomata. — And our research is a key period in between. In later times there were powerful rulers and administrative�� system, causing people to do the work. But this complex was built much earlier, and we see no evidence of the presence of a powerful elite. We think it’s more of a collaboration”.
According to the authors, an extensive plateau, fenced large dams, suggests that the ceremonial center was built collectively and for use by many people. And this is completely new knowledge about social relations in Mesoamerica during the transitional period between the decline of the San Lorenzo and the rise of another center of the Olmec — a La Venta which has developed a young Mayan civilization.
In the future, scientists plan to continue work in the area of Aguada-Phoenix and hopefully with the help of lidar to find the remains of dwellings.
“we Have substantial information about construction of ceremonial — said Inomata. — Now we want to see in this period people lived and the changes in their way of life.”