Oldest and largest ancient Maya structure found in Mexico
WASHINGTON: Scientists utilizing an aerial remote-sensing technique have found the biggest and oldest-known construction constructed by the traditional Maya civilisation – a colossal rectangular elevated platform constructed between 1,000 and 800 BC in Mexico’s Tabasco state.
The construction, in contrast to the hovering Maya pyramids at cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico erected some 1,500 years later, was not constructed of stone however moderately of clay and earth, and sure was used for mass rituals, researchers mentioned on Wednesday.
Located at a website known as Aguada Fenix close to the Guatemalan border, the construction measured almost 1 / 4 mile (400 meters) large and nine-tenths of a mile (1,400 meters) lengthy and stood 33 to 50 toes (10 to 15 meters) excessive. In complete quantity, it exceeded historic Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza constructed 1,500 years earlier.
There have been no indicators of sculptures depicting high-status people, suggesting Maya tradition at this early stage was extra communal and solely later developed social inequality and a hierarchical society led by royalty, the researchers mentioned.
“Because it’s so giant horizontally, for those who stroll on it, it simply seems to be like pure panorama,” mentioned University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata, who led the analysis printed within the journal Nature. “But its kind comes out properly in lidar.”
Lidar, quick for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote-sensing method that employs a pulsed laser and different knowledge obtained flying over a website to generate three-dimensional details about the form of floor traits.
Nine giant causeways and a collection of reservoirs have been linked to the construction. Some elements of the agricultural Aguada Fenix website in the present day are coated with cattle ranches. Other elements are wooded.
“It is possible that many individuals from surrounding areas gathered for particular events, probably tied to calendrical cycles,” Inomata mentioned. “The rituals most likely concerned processions alongside the causeways and inside the rectangular plaza. The folks additionally deposited symbolic objects equivalent to jade axes within the heart of the plateau.”