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.
Header Image Credit : INAH
Maya tomb with funerary offerings found during hotel construction
A tomb with funerary offerings has been uncovered during the construction of the Tren Maya Hotel, in Palenque, Mexico.
Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducted rescue excavations following the discovery, revealing skeletal remains associated with the Maya city of Palenque.
Palenque, also known as Lakamha in the Itza Language (meaning “Flat-Place-River”), is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
The city dates from 226 BC to AD 799, with most of the major construction works representing a rebuilding effort in response to attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in AD 599 and AD 611.
The population declined during the 8th century AD, instead becoming an agricultural population that led to the abandonment of the city zone. By 1520 following the Spanish conquest, contemporary Spanish accounts record the entire region being sparsely populated.
Excavations uncovered a stone lined funerary space sealed with limestone slabs, in which the researchers found the remains of a high-status individual who likely lived in the periphery of Palenque in a small settlement.
The burial is located at a depth of four metres, and also contained ceramic vessels and beads deposited as funerary offerings.
“The individual was placed face up with his legs extended and his head facing north,” said Diego Prieto Hernández from INAH.
The discovery was announced in a press conference reporting on the progress of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza) in Palenque, Moral-Reforma and El Tigre, the three heritage sites that are served within Section 1 of the Mayan Train Project.
Header Image Credit : INAH
Archaeologists unearth possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle
Archaeologists from the Dyfed Archaeological Trust may have discovered the possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Pembroke Castle was founded during the 11th century by Roger de Montgomerie, the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.
In 1452, Jasper Tudor was presented both the castle and the earldom by his half-brother, King Henry VI. In 1457, Henry VII was born at the castle, the only child of Lady Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond.
Following Edward IV’s ascension to the throne in 1471, Henry VII endured 14 years of exile in Brittany. He eventually claimed the throne after his forces, with backing from France, Scotland, and Wales, emerged victorious over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marking the climax of the Wars of the Roses.
Henry VII’s reign is credited with many administrative, economic, and tax reforms, having ruled for nearly 24 years until his death in 1509 at the age of 52. Henry VII was succeed by his second son, Henry, Duke of York, who ascended to the crown as Henry VIII.
Historians have long assumed that a 13th century tower on the outer ward (known today as Henry VII Tower) was the birth place of Henry VII. However, a recent study by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust has uncovered evidence of a late-medieval winged hall-house, broadly dating to the 15th century.
The walls of the structure extend to around 25 metres, with comparisons being drawn to medieval buildings found in England and East Wales, such as Penallt Mansion in Kidwelly. Historically, Pembroke Castle was situated in the English-speaking portion of Pembrokeshire, often referred to as “Little England beyond Wales.”
Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Neil Ludlow, a consultant to Pembroke Castle, said: “All our indications are pointing to a late-medieval building which was clearly of high status within Pembrokeshire, and it looks as if it was at least two-storeys, which possibly makes it a better candidate for the birthplace of a king rather that the tower that currently bears his name.”
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