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Toltec settlement uncovered near Tula

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a Toltec settlement in the town of El Salitre near the Toltec regional centre of Tula.

Tula was the capital of the Toltec Empire between the fall of Teotihuacan and the rise of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The city is located in the Tula River Valley in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, 75 km’s north of Mexico City.

At its height, Tula roughly covered an area of 14 km2 with a population of about 60,000, with another 20,000 to 25,000 in the surrounding 1000 km2. Its economic base was agriculture and the mining and crafting of obsidian, which enabled the city to emerge as an important trading and ceremonial centre.

Excavations in El Salitre have been conducted by INAH on behalf of the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico. Archaeologists sunk 20 test trenches at strategic points, revealing the remains of square and rectangular rooms, floors, corridors, open areas, construction fillings and rammed floors.

Image Credit : INAH

The excavation has identified three stages of occupation, the first corresponding to the Toltec period around AD 900 to AD 1150, with the discovery of human burials, pots, tripod bowls, and fine orange-coloured vessels. Also found from this period are obsidian cores and blades, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, and bone instruments such as needless, awls and whorls.

The second phase of occupation dates from between AD 1475 to AD 1522 during the Aztec period. The team found several architectural elements in addition to painted pottery that comes from the Acolhua region and polychrome jars from the Valley of Mexico.

“In the excavation of two rooms we also found human burials from this period with ceramic offerings, figurines and work instruments; and others inside pots, as well as canine bones whose species has yet to be identified,” said Gamboa Cabezas from the INAH Hidalgo Centre.

The final stage of occupation corresponds to the Early Colonial period around AD 1522 to AD 1540. During this period, many of the rooms were filled in with new construction works to the northwest of the site. Archaeologists found several types of ceramics, metal spoons, and animal remains, that corresponds to the first species of cattle, goats, and pigs introduced to the region by the Spanish.

INAH

Header Image Credit : INAH

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Archaeology

Megathrust earthquakes possible cause of Teōtīhuacān decline

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A new study, published in the journal Science Direct, suggests that a series of megathrust earthquakes led to the decline and possible abandonment of Teōtīhuacān.

Named by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs as Teōtīhuacān, and loosely translated as “birthplace of the gods”, Teōtīhuacān is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in the Teōtīhuacān Valley of the Free and Sovereign State of Mexico, in present-day Mexico.

The development of Teōtīhuacān can be identified by four distinct consecutive phases, known as Teōtīhuacān I, II, III, and IV.

It was during phase II (AD 100 to 350) that the city population rapidly grew into a metropolis and saw the construction of monuments such as the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest ancient pyramid after the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza), the Pyramid of the Moon, the Avenue of the Dead, and the Ciudadela with the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (also known as Temple of the Quetzalcoatl).

An analysis of several pyramids within the city has revealed evidence of Earthquake Archaeological Effects (EAEs), potentially linked to seismic loading. The study has focused on the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Old temple and New temple), and the Sun and the Moon pyramids, in which visible EAE’s can be observed.

According to the researchers, the EAE’s are likely caused by megathrust earthquakes, for which five destructive ancient earthquakes have been estimated to have struck Teōtīhuacān between the Tzacualli – Miccaotli (AD 100–150), and Metepec (AD 600 ± 50) stages, by matching EAEs and archaeological dates.

Based on the spatial pattern of the EAEs and the orientation of the dipping broken corners (DBC) or chip marks, it is theorised that a series of seismic shocks struct the city from the SW to the NE, indicating a possible origin of a seismic source in the Middle American Trench caused by repetitive megathrust earthquakes.

At least, two strong destructive earthquakes (Intensity VIII-IX) affected Teōtīhuacān in antiquity that impacted the development of the architectural styles. The first one occurred between the years AD 1–150 (Miccaotli phase), and the second one occurred in AD 455 ± 50 (Late Xolalpan-Early Metepec phase).

This was followed by three further damaging earthquakes, for which the latter two occurred around AD 650 before the abandonment of the city the following century.

“This proposal does not conflict with other existing theories for the Teotihuacan abrupt collapse, considering that the sudden overlapping of natural disasters like earthquakes could increase internal warfare (uprising), and civil unrest,” said the study authors.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Science Direct | Teotihuacan ancient culture affected by megathrust earthquakes during the early Epiclassic Period (Mexico). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104528.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Excavations uncover traces of Kraków Fortress

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A team of archaeologists conducting archaeological works at the S52 construction site have uncovered traces of the Kraków Fortress in the Polish city of Kraków.

S52 is a Polish highway being constructed in the Silesian and Lesser Poland voivodeships, which upon completion will connect the border of the Czech Republic in Cieszyn with Kraków.

Kraków Fortress refers to a series of Austro-Hungarian fortifications constructed during the 19th century. The fortress included the 18th century Kościuszko Insurrection fortifications, the medieval Wawel Castle, and the Kraków city walls. Of the over 50 post-Austrian forts in Krakow, 44 structures have been preserved in their entirety or with minor changes.

Excavations in the area of ​​the northern bypass of Krakow have revealed the remains of earthen structures related to the network of military units being established around the city, whose task was to turn Krakow into a modern border fortress.

The team also uncovered traces of earth embankments and moats, as well as the infrastructure for draining rainwater from the infantry entrenchment area and a wooden shelter from a dugout measuring 25 by 7.5 metres.

A press statement by the Republic of Poland, said: “During the research, objects related to the everyday life of soldiers were discovered. These include a tin enameled mug with a signature on the bottom depicting a double-headed imperial eagle with the inscription Austria and the initials H&C 1/2.”

“The preserved marking allowed us to determine that the mug is a product of the Haardt & Co. factory located in Knittelfeld, Austria. Enamellierwerke und Metallwarenfabriken AG. Founded in 1873 by Friedrich Wilhelm Haardt, the factory produced embossed enamelled dishes, including orders for the then Austrian army.”

Header Image Credit : Republic of Poland

Sources : Republic of Poland

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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