(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) in the southern state of Tamaulipas have discovered traces of a previously unknown settlement that is over 1,000 years old.
A brief report on the discovery is published on the INAH website.
A previously unknown millennial settlement was discovered during the construction of the Mante-Ocampo-Tula highway, on the territory of the modern town of El Naranjo.
The ruins of the ancient city were first discovered by road workers. The excavations made the archaeologists immediately take up rescue work – the ruins will be strengthened and conserved.
At the moment, several round foundations have already been excavated. In addition, more than a dozen human burials have been found.
According to the coordinator of the research project, archaeologist Esteban Avalos Beltran, the buildings were built from earth, limestone and basalt. Now they look like mounds.
The diameter of the foundation of one of these buildings was 20 meters, the second – 30 meters. Scientists do not exclude that these were not residential buildings, but public or ceremonial buildings.
This is also indicated by the fact that inside the larger of the buildings, archaeologists found a mass grave – three adults were buried in a common grave at the same time.
There were ritual items in the burial – earrings made of shells and green quartz. All three were buried lying on their backs.
This is an important aspect, since in a dozen other burials people were in other positions, in particular, in a sitting position, in a fetal position or lying on their side.
This indicates that the locals used a variety of funerary practices. The choice of ceremony could depend on the status of the person or the circumstances of his death.
It is also possible that some of the buried were not local residents. They could be captives, slaves or merchants who came here from afar.
The nature of one of the burials, in which the remains of an adult were found, prompted archaeologists to such an idea.
His grave is markedly different from other local graves, but it is identical to burials found earlier at the Tamtok site in San Luis Potosi, south of Tamaulipas.
Scientists suggest that the previously unknown city may be related to the Huastec culture. It probably flourished at the end of the classical period (600-900 AD), that is, more than a millennium ago.
It is interesting that earlier one of the oldest human sites in Mesoamerica was discovered not far from this city, the age of which is about 9000 years.
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