The largest and oldest monumental pre-Maya structure has been identified in Mexico revealing an ancient culture that thrived without a centralized government or elite classes.
A team of archaeologists conducting airborne LIDAR surveys in Tabasco, Mexico, created a high resolution 3D map of “Aguada Fénix, ” thought of as being no more than a natural rise in the landscape, but they revealed a massive elevated ancient platform.
Measuring 4,635 feet (1,413 meters) north to south and 1,310 feet (399 meters) on its east to west axis, the ritual site is raised 32-50 feet (10-15 meters) above the surrounding area and the scans also plotted no less than nine sacred causeways extending from the structure. And perhaps equally, if not more provocative than the structure itself is that the archaeologists didn’t find a single jot of evidence of any social elites or central government controlling the construction project.
Dating The Gargantuan Sacred Site
This incredible discovery is detailed a new science paper published in the journal Nature, by lead author Takeshi Inomata from the University of Arizona, who speaks with Ancient Origins later in this article. Professor Inomata's team of researchers radiocarbon dated 69 charcoal samples and determined that the earliest deposits at Aguada Fénix dated to around 750 BC and it was also discovered that people of this region began using ceramics by 1200 BC, which is almost two centuries earlier than ceramic use at comparative sites, like for example, “Ceibal, Tikal, Cahal, Pech, Cuello and other Maya communities, ” according to the paper.
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