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Archaeologists uncover vestiges of the Tepuztecos

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Archaeologists have uncovered vestiges of the Tepuztecos during an expansion of the Puerto del Varal-Corral de Piedra highway at Barranca Chihuila-Corral de Piedra.

The Tepuztecos, also known as the Tlacotepehuas, were a pre-Hispanic culture that inhabited the area around present-day Tlacotepec in the state of Guerrero, south-western Mexico.

Very little is known about the Tepuztecos except for their name recorded by the Aztecs, who referred to the metal works of the culture as “tepuzque”, the Mexica word for copper alloy.

During expansion works of the highway at Barranca Chihuila-Corral de Piedra, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) uncovered a 34 metre long wall which corresponds to the first of three stepped levels of a larger structure.

Image Credit : Moses Nava Nava

Excavations at the site found fragments of human and animal bones as part of construction fillers for the wall, in addition to the burial of an infant who died around three to four years of age.

Placed in the burial are offerings consisting of green stone beads, copper bells, shell earrings, and a Yestla-El Naranjo-type tripod bowl which dates from between AD 1000 to 1521 before the Spanish Conquest.

“There is little information about this ethnic group and its culture, we know that they had a god called Andut and a goddess that received the name of Macuili Achiotl, whose figure of a woman was represented in sculpture or painting on stone,” says archaeologist, Pérez Negrete.

Archaeologists also discovered a system of walls made from large limestone blocks covered with lime stucco, in addition to stucco floors with red pigment. Among the objects found associated with the walls are pieces of obsidian and a large quantity of ceramic material from the Postclassic period (AD 500 to 1500), indicating that the site had two periods of occupation.

Archaeologist, Lucero Hernández, said: “It is the start of investigations that will offer new insights into the region of the extinct Tepuztecs, to know the social and cultural characteristics of the extensive pre-Hispanic occupations of the area, as well as to understand the cultural period of the societies that created the Yestla-Naranjo ceramics.”

INAH

Header Image Credit : INAH

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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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