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Archaeology & History

Long-lost Maya capital found in man's back yard

By T.K. Randall
March 13, 2020 · Comment icon 5 comments

Archaeologists work to excavate the ruins. Image Credit: Charles Golden
Scientists have discovered the capital of an ancient Maya kingdom in the back yard of a cattle rancher.
Located in what is now the state of Chiapas in southeastern Mexico, the remarkable find was made by associate professor of anthropology Charles Golden and colleagues who have been excavating the site - which sits on an active cattle ranch - since June 2018.

The work has been particularly taxing, not least because the archaeologists have had to prevent the livestock from falling into holes, trampling on delicate artefacts or leaving dung on the excavations.

The researchers now believe that the site was once the capital of the Sak Tz'i' kingdom which was settled in 750 BCE and may have been occupied for over 1,000 years.
Clues to the existence of this kingdom had been found in the form of inscriptions at other sites as far back as 1994, however it has taken until now to actually discover its whereabouts.

So far the excavation has yielded a treasure trove of artefacts and structural ruins including evidence of pyramids, a palace and even a ball court. Monuments inscribed with references to rituals, battles and a mythical water serpent have also been found at the site.

The team hopes to return again in the summer in an effort to further unravel the kingdom's secrets.

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Comment icon #1 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
White dogs are sacred in many Native cultures for many reasons. The people of the kingdom might of bred them, held some sort of ceremony with them or it could of been the name of a prominent clan or gens.  I think the water serpent myths found in most Native cultures date to the Clovis. when catastrophic flooding was a constant threat as far South as Texas. See above.    Just think of the big glacial washout that created the Mississippi. It must of been a marvelous and terrifying sight. While tracing the remains of a 130 million year old monster called the Great Pennsauken and looking at th... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
On this side of the country we had the Missoula floods several times as glacial dams broke and let Lake Missoula discharge rapidly.  It carved out the Colombia gorge and in eastern Washington, in the Palouse country  and Western Montana, the large ripple marks go on for miles.  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
They were probably the Algic "Great Flood" and I did field work in the Channeled Scablands. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tatetopa 4 years ago
If you are at a viewpoint and scan out across the landscape, they look like ripples on a beach.  Then you realize they are 5-10 feet tall.    
Comment icon #5 Posted by MissJatti 4 years ago
Just how big is his back yard

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