(ORDO NEWS) — Years of research in the holy city of El Tajin in Mexico has finally come to a close. According to researchers, one of the reasons for the fall of the pre-Hispanic cult center was climate change, which led to the loss of the centuries-old connection with the Sun by the locals.
Scientists analyzed the data that they managed to collect over 11 years of archaeological work and information about the climate during that period.
It is known that a thousand years ago, El-Tahin was a major religious center that played an important role in the life of society at that time.
However, around the 10th century AD, the city fell into decline. Scientists were interested in finding out the reasons for the decline.
One theory that was tested was that climate change was the cause. Experts have found that since about 900 AD, significant changes in climatic conditions have occurred in Europe. It is possible that the prolonged drought and devastation also affected El Tajin.
A lidar study showed the importance of the city in conducting rituals. Also, with its help, two of the youngest buildings of the ancient city were scanned – the South Ball Playground and the Building of Niches. According to experts, these structures were built to communicate with divine forces.
The building of niches was erected in accordance with the movement of the Sun. Everyone could see how the sun illuminated all 7 niches during sunrise.
The rising sun was associated with the god Quetzalcoatl, when the weather was favorable, people could ask him for favors and good news.
The southern ball court was intended for ritual games. During the game, the participants predicted the gods about some kind of service, and in return offered them a gift – their own life. The discovered images on the frescoes indicate that the best player was sacrificed.
The results of the research showed that the city was built with a clear balance with the forces of nature. However, at one point this balance was upset. Most likely, the culprit was a change in climatic conditions.
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