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Archaeologists may have discovered lost settlement of Apancalecan



In an announcement by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), archaeologists may have discovered the lost settlement of Apancalecan in Mexico’s Costa Grande of Guerrero region.

The discovery was made following an inspection carried out on communal land by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico in the municipality of Tecpan de Galeana.

Archaeologists have found a large pre-Hispanic settlement spread over an area of 71.6 acres, which contains an arrangement of 26 mounds centred on a large central mound up to 25 metres in height with a base of 73.5 metres by 60 metres.

Excavations have also found adjacent plazas where altars and two smooth stelae were recorded, in addition to residential areas, ball courts, and elongated structures possibly associated with the storage of water. A study of the ceramic material recovered on the surface suggests that the site was first inhabited during the Classic period around AD 200 to 650.

Based on a comparison with historical sources from the 16th century, the researchers suggest that the settlement could correspond with the settlement of Apancalecan, referred to on Plate 18 of the Codex Matrícula de Tributos, a pre-Hispanic document that recorded the tribute paid to the Aztec empire by conquered towns.

At the time, Apancalecan was part of the region of Cihuatlan, which was annexed into the Aztec territories between AD 1497 and AD 1502 by Ahuitzotl, the eighth Aztec ruler. During his reign, Ahuitzotl conquered the Mixtec, Zapotec, and other peoples from Pacific Coast of Mexico down to the western part of Guatemala, more than doubling the lands under Aztec dominance.

Regarding the Nahua meaning of Apancalecan, the word is made up of apan (apantli, ditch water channel), calli (house) and can (locative), which is loosely translated as “Place of the house with water channels”.

Following the Spanish conquest, Apancalecan was renamed to Tequepa, as recorded on a map in AD 1570 by cartographer Abraham Ortelius, however, the location of the settlement was lost until now.


Header Image Credit : INAH

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am




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 – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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New findings in North America’s first city




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 – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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