Sunday, June 07, 2020

What Does A "Transition Period" From The Olmecs To The Mayans Even Mean?


sciencealert |  A giant, sprawling structure almost a mile long has been discovered at the southern tip of Mexico, with researchers saying it may represent the oldest and largest monument of the ancient Maya civilisation ever found.

The site, called Aguada Fénix, is located in the state of Tabasco, at the base of the Gulf of Mexico. It's so vast for its age, the find is making archaeologists recalibrate their timelines on the architectural capabilities of the mysterious Maya.

Before now, the Maya site of Ceibal (aka Seibal) was thought to be the oldest ceremonial centre, dating back to around 950 BCE.

Aguada Fénix, which measures over 1,400 metres (almost 4,600 ft) in length at its greatest extent, dates to a similar timeframe, with researchers estimating it was built between 1000 and 800 BCE – but its immense size and scope make it unlike anything found before from the period.

"To our knowledge, this is the oldest monumental construction ever found in the Maya area and the largest in the entire pre-Hispanic history of the region," the researchers, led by archaeologist Takeshi Inomata from the University of Arizona, explain in a new paper about the discovery.

What's even more staggering is that this huge, unknown structure has actually been hiding in plain sight for centuries, seemingly unrecognised by the modern Mexicans living their lives on top of the vast complex.