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Posted on Monday, October 13 - 2008

Solar Observatory - Peru

Copyright © Archaeology Discoveries And Facts

Travelers have noticed the 13 stone towers rising over Peru’s coastal desert since at least the nineteenth century. But researchers only last year discovered the structures’ purpose: they make up a sophisticated solar observatory, one of the earliest known in the Americas.Iván Ghezzi of Peru’s National Institute of Culture and Clive Ruggles ofthe University of Leicester showed that the arc of the 13 Towers of Chankillo, built by a still unnamed culture, corresponds almost exactly to the rising and setting sun’s range of movement over a year.

On the December 15 solstice, for example, the sun would have risen directly over the southernmost tower, when viewed from the west. Wooden lintels embedded in the towers date to about 300 B.C.Tracking the sun’s progress would have helped Chankillo’s builders time the planting of their crops. But the towers were probably also meant to express rulers’ mystical kinship withthe sun, and their ability to influence its movement. “If you were just measuring seasons, there would be no need to make such great structures,” says Ghezzi. “The idea was to transmit a political and ideological message about a ruler’s close relationship with the sun.” An enormous, circular “fortress” near the towers may have played a role in the display.

Copyright: Archaeology Discoveries And Facts

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Stunning Mayan carvings of cosmic monsters

Archaeologists have uncovered carved stucco panels depicting cosmic monsters, gods and serpents in Guatemala's northern jungle. They are the oldest known depictions of a famous Mayan creation myth. The 26ft long panels were created around 300 BC and show scenes from the core Mayan mythology, the Popol Vuh. It took investigators three months to uncover the carvings while excavating El Mirador, the biggest ancient Mayan city in the world, the site's head researcher, Richard Hanse...

'Apocalypto' now for Mel, Maya and historians

Call it "The Passion of the Maya": Mel Gibson is quietly filming a movie in a Mexican jungle about the collapsed civilization. Given Gibson's cinematic history, experts on the ancient Maya are looking forward to his upcoming epic, "Apocalypto," with a mixture of curiosity and dread. They're pleased that Hollywood will feature a period of world history still little understood but worry that once again a movie may sacrifice historical accuracy for the sake of a good sto...

Portal to mythical Mayan underworld found

Mexican archeologists have discovered a maze of stone temples in underground caves, some submerged in water and containing human bones, which ancient Mayans believed was a portal where dead souls entered the underworld. Clad in scuba gear and edging through narrow tunnels, researchers discovered the stone ruins of eleven sacred temples and what could be the remains of human sacrifices at the site in the Yucatan Peninsula. Archeologists say Mayans believed the underground complex of water-filled ...

Researchers open cave under Mexican pyramid

Archaeologists are opening a cave sealed for more than 30 years deep beneath a Mexican pyramid to look for clues about the mysterious collapse of one of ancient civilisation"s largest cities. The soaring Teotihuacan stone pyramids, now a major tourist site about an hour outside Mexico City, were discovered by the ancient Aztecs around 1500 AD, not long before the arrival of Spanish explorers to Mexico. But little is known about the civilisation that built the immense city, with its ceremonial ar...

Pre-Incan female Wari mummy unearthed in Peru

Copyright © ReutersArcheologists working at Peru's Huaca Pucllana ruins pulled a mummy from a tomb on Tuesday, thought to be from the ancient Wari culture that flourished before the Incas. Besides the female mummy, the tomb contained the remains of two other adults and a child. It is the first intact Wari burial site discovered at Huaca Pucllana in the capital Lima, and researchers believe it dates from about 700 AD."We'd discovered other tombs before," said Isabel Flores,...

Sensational new Mayan archaeological find at El Mirador in Guatemala

Copyright © Guatemala NewsA new Mayan archaeological discovery of a 2,200 year old carving was found at El Mirador, Guatemala. The archaeological site El Mirador continues to astound the world. A team of archaeologists, mostly Guatemalans, under the coordination of Richard Hansen made the discovery of a carving of the Mayan Pre-Classic Period which dates from 200 BC. This new finding was presented by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Jeronimo Lancerio and businessmen who support t...

What caused the fall of the Maya ?

For over one thousand years the Maya dominated Central America, now scientists believe that their demise may have been severely hastened as the result ofthe deforestation that fuelled their oncemighty civilization."For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. . At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile -- comparableto modern Los Angeles County. " View: Full Article | S...

Upright skeleton found in Maya tomb

Archaeologists working in Honduras have discovered an entombed human skeleton of an elite member of the ancient Maya Empire that may help unravel some longstanding mysteries of the vanished culture. The remains, seated in an upright position in an unusual tomb and flanked by shells, pottery, vessels, and jade adornments, suggest a surprisingly diverse culture and complex political system in the influential Maya city of Copán around A.D. 650. Located at the western edge of modern-day Honduras nea...

Research disputes Maya collapse belief

New research on the Maya civilization which is believed to have collapsed due to its overuse of natural resources and slash-and-burn farming may have actually held a great appreciation forthe environment."For decades, the Maya –– andtheir descendents –– have gotten a bad rap from archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scholars who cite the ancient civilization"s agricultural practices for its eventual collapse. . " View: Fu...

Possible Aztec offerings found in Mexico

Submitted by Pendekar Timur: Archaeologists diving into a lake in the crater of a snowcapped volcano found wooden scepters shaped like lightning bolts that match 500-year-old descriptions by Spanish priests and conquerors writing about offerings to the Aztec rain god. The lightning bolts — along with cones of copal incense and obsidian knives — were found during scuba-diving expeditions in one of the twin lakes of the extinct Nevado de Toluca volcano, at more than 13,800 feet above sealevel.Scie...


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