Thursday, December 21, 2006

Empires in America

Do the Knowledge to the extensive ruins being found in North America of the native empires.

Aztec ruins unearthed in Mexico

Archaeologists say the ancient stone figures carved into the monolith represent Aztec gods

Archaeologists working in Mexico City have discovered an Aztec monolith, the most important ruins of the ancient civilisation to be found in decades.
The monolith and an altar, dating from the 15th Century, were unearthed in the very heart of the busy capital city.

The city's mayor described the discovery as the biggest in almost three decades.

A figure representing the rain god Tlaloc and another unidentified figure are carved into a frieze on the altar.

Under the surface

The discoveries were made near the ruins of the civilisation's main temple, the Templo Mayor, near the city's central Zocalo Square.

"It is a very important discovery, the biggest we have made in 28 years. It will allow us to find out much more," Mexico City Major Alejandro Encinas said.

The stone slab is some 3.5m (11ft) in height and much of it remains buried beneath the surface.

Archaeologists say they think it might be part of an entrance to an underground chamber.

The ancient Aztecs began the construction of the Templo Mayor temple in 1375.

It was discovered, by accident, in 1978 when electricity workers came across a vast carving of an Aztec goddess.

Also Knowledge this article

Tomb find reveals pre-Inca city

The discover of tumis in situ is particularly exciting to scientists
Archaeologists working in northern Peru have discovered a spectacular tomb complex about 1,000 years old.

The complex contains at least 20 tombs, and dates from the pre-Inca Sican era.

Among the discoveries are 12 "tumis", ceremonial knives which scientists have not been able to study in a burial site before, as well as ceramics and masks.

The Sican culture flourished from approximately AD 800-1300, one of several metalworking societies which succumbed to drought and conquest.

Archaeologists working on the project say the find will help them understand details of the culture.

Sican was a very organised society

Izumi Shimada
"It is a religious city, a sacred settlement, and at each excavation site is a cemetery," Izumi Shimada told Peru's El Comercio newspaper.

"That tells us that Sican was a very organised society."

Professor Shimada, based at the University of Southern Illinois in the US, has been excavating Sican sites for a quarter of a century. The latest dig was performed in conjunction with the Sican National Museum.

Trading goods

The burial site sits on Peru's northern coast, near the town of Ferrenafe.

Discoveries in the tomb complex include tumis formed from an alloy of silver, copper and gold; masks, breastplates and ceramics.

The site contains at least 20 tombs, making it a "religious city"
Buried in a pyramid 30m (100ft) long, archaeologists found the bones of a woman in her early 20s surrounded by figurines of Sican gods, ceramics and objects in copper and gold.

Another set of bones, clearly from a person of some stature, were found in a seated position accompanied by a metallic crown, part of a thorny oyster, and various ceramic objects including a vase.

The tumis are a prize find, because until now the knives have come to scientists from tomb raiders. Finding them in situ would allow a closer understanding of their role in Sican culture, researchers said.

One of the tumis features a representation of Naylamp, the mythical founder of Sican society who according to legend emerged from the sea and became a god.

The Sican were noted for producing gold, silver and copper in quantities which were substantial for the period.

They traded shells and stones with societies in what are now Ecuador, Chile and Colombia.

Their civilisation had already declined by the time that the mightiest of Peruvian cultures, the Inca, rose to prominence about AD 1200.

The source articles for these two post:

Also check out my travelogue at The Chronicles of ALife


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