Friday, February 3, 2023

Guatemala: Maya discoveries at the Mirador archaeological site

ASSOCIATED PRESS ( Associated Press) – The discovery of a network of roads, buildings and settlements at the archaeological site called La Cuenca Mirador Calakmul, located between northern Petén in Guatemala and southern Campeche in Mexico, reveals more details about life and organization. maya centuries ago

Experts revealed that one of the most important finds is a network of roads that are interconnected, marked and even painted with lime, they are 40 meters wide and about 177 kilometers long .

Another finding is the identification of 189 new sites, which add to the 775 found in 2015, making 964 ancient Mayan settlements with houses, structures and ball game fields, and which together with open roads form part of this. A political state say the explorers.

“Most of the sites date to Middle and Late Antiquity, from around 1000 B.C., until sometime after the time of Christ,” said the Phares Foundation, one of the project’s financiers, in a press release.

Richard Hansen, an American archaeologist who has been in charge of archaeological investigations in the area for decades and directs the Mirador project, pointed out that the settlements are one of the few remaining pristine tropical forests in the country.

María Belen Méndez, an archaeologist and doctor in Mesoamerican studies not related to Hansen’s project, believes the findings are interesting because they show the form of organization of the people who lived at the site.

But he believes that the information that is available is preliminary and that more study and even excavation is needed to establish with greater certainty if the finds are from the same period.

“You can talk about the discovery of many roads but it is not known whether they are all contemporaneous, if they were built at the same time,” explains Mendez, adding that archeology is constantly making discoveries, so no Not an absolute truth, just a guess.

Méndez expressed that in his opinion the discovered constructions are significant because they show an architectural pattern that is recognized in the Preclassic period, detailing some of the constructions used for astronomical observatories. “The data they show about how they used water in ancient times, especially in that part of the lowland where resources were difficult to manage, is important because they tell us about social complexity.”

It also emphasizes the importance of the fact that the buildings were built from karstic rocks, which are found beneath the subsoil and are a natural material that is easy to shape.

Experts say that to make the discovery, lidar technology was used, where an aircraft flying at a low altitude sends a type of laser that creates X-rays of the Earth’s surface, which reaches the subsoil. Is.

The images “allowed the sites to be seen in their entirety, each road, site, reservoir and glory, large-scale agricultural areas, corrals where they kept meat for industrial scale, agricultural systems and the formation of swamps,” said archaeologist Hansen. , who added that it allowed us to learn how the Maya built their agricultural system to sustain their population.

Josephine Thompson, team planner and lidar expert, explained that the Mayans then constructed as engineers, designing buildings and roads. “They calculated how to build their roads, have water and their residential areas,” he said.

Hansen called for strategically expanding knowledge of the Mirador and its sites, as this would generate huge income that could represent an improvement for the country and its population.

Nation World News Desk
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