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Sun Mar 22, 2020, 02:40 PM

Ancient Maya kingdom with pyramid discovered in southern Mexico

By Grant Currin - Live Science Contributor 2 days ago

This newly discovered Maya kingdom wasn't powerful, but its allies may have kept it safe.

A drawing (left) and a digital 3D model (right) of a stone slab found at the newly discovered kingdom.
(Image: Stephen Houston/Brown University; Charles Golden/Brandeis)

After searching for more than a quarter century, archaeologists may have finally located the capital city of Sak Tz'i', a Maya kingdom that's referenced in sculptures and inscriptions from across the ancient Maya world. But it wasn't archaeologists who made the find. A local man discovered a 2- by 4-foot (0.6 by 1.2 meters) tablet near Lacanja Tzeltal, a community in Chiapas, Mexico.

The tablet's inscriptions are a treasure trove of mythology, poetry and history that reflect the typical Maya practice of weaving together myth and reality. Various sections of the tablet contain inscriptions that recount a mythical water serpent, various unnamed gods, a mythic flood and accounts of the births, lives, and battles of ancient rulers, according to a news statement from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

Despite being surrounded by stronger neighbors, evidence suggests that the kingdom's capital city was occupied for more than a millennium after being settled in 750 B.C. The kingdom's longevity may be due to the fortifications that surrounded its capital city. The researchers found evidence that the city was protected by a stream with a steep ravine on one side and defensive masonry walls on the other.

The team members added that the kingdom may have benefitted from forming strategic peace deals with its more powerful neighbors. Even though this kingdom never achieved great power, "Sak Tz'i' was a formidable enemy and an important ally to those greater kingdoms, as evidenced by the frequency by which it appears in texts at those sites," the researchers wrote in the study, published online in December 2019 in the Journal of Field Archaeology.


Also posted in Anthropology:

More details, Brandeis Report:

Ancient Maya kingdom unearthed in a backyard in Mexico

Also, see a map, and fascinating photos of this area:

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Reply Ancient Maya kingdom with pyramid discovered in southern Mexico (Original post)
Judi Lynn Mar 22 OP
littlemissmartypants Mar 23 #1
Judi Lynn Mar 28 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 07:17 AM

1. ❤ nt

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Sat Mar 28, 2020, 06:17 AM

2. A street food vendor's tip led archaeologists to find an ancient Maya capital in a cattle rancher's

By David Williams, CNN
Updated 1:25 PM ET, Mon March 23, 2020

Archaeologists work to excavate the capital of the Sak Tz'i' kingdom on a cattle ranch in Mexico.

(CNN)Archaeologists say they've found the long-lost capital of an ancient Maya kingdom near the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

The Sak Tz'i' kingdom was home to between 5,000 and 10,000 people in what is now Chiapas, Mexico, from about 750 BCE to 900 AD, Brandeis University associate professor of anthropology Charles Golden told CNN.
The kingdom wasn't particularly powerful and was surrounded by some of the superpowers of the day, Golden said. He said the Sak Tz'i' kingdom was frequently mentioned in inscriptions found in other cities.
"The reason we know about the kingdom from the inscriptions is because they get beat up by all these superpowers, their rulers are taken captive, they're fighting wars, but they're also negotiating alliances with those superpowers at the same time," he said.


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