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Archaeologists uncover Teotihuacano village in Mexico City

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a Teotihuacano village in the Tlatelolco area of Mexico City.

The village dates from around AD 450-650 during the Classic period in the Late Xolalpan-Metepec phases, when the city of Teotihuacán had reached the apogee of influence in Mesoamerica.

At this time, Teotihuacán is estimated to have had a population of around 125,000 inhabitants and was among the largest cities in the ancient world, containing 2,000 buildings within an area of 18 square kilometres.

The village was first identified in the 1960’s during construction works, but recent excavations have now uncovered architectural elements, stone alignments, post holes, three human burials with funerary offerings, and large concentrations of ceramics.

Despite the village being located in a rural context, it likely had links of exchange and dependency with other Teotihuacán governing centres on the western shore of Lake Texcoco.

According to the researchers, the village inhabitants survived on self-subsistence and gathering, and was also a centre for the production of quality ceramics and artisan objects based on the discovery of figurines, green stone artefacts, funerary offerings, and various obsidian and flint projectile points.

Through test pits and extensive excavations, evidence of Aztec occupation in the Late Postclassic Period has also been identified, in addition to layers that date from the 18th, 19th, and 20th century AD.

Archaeologists also found a series of channels that delimited chinampería spaces, a method of agricultural expansion used by the Aztecs in Lake Texcoco for growing plants and vegetables.

Within the channels, the team found several deposits of ceramic vessels, a headless seated sculpture, and complete and semi-complete objects that date from the Late Aztec III Period (AD 1440-1521).

INAH

Header Image Credit : Marisol Bautista Roquez

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am

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Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

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

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New findings in North America’s first city

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Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

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

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