Archaeological news from Americas.

  • Depiction of mythical Aztec universe discovered in natural pond near Mexico’s Iztaccihuatl volcano

    A team of archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a stone shrine in a pond that depicts the design of the universe, as imagined by ancient Aztec civilisations. The stone “tetzacualco” or sanctuary was found at Nahualac, a site at the foothills of the Iztaccihuatl volcano. According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), along with the stone shrine,…

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  • Peru: Ancient astronomical observatory found in Cusco

    Research works at Espiritu Pampa archaeological site in Southern Cusco region led to the discovery of an astronomical observatory, massive stone walls, as well as ceramics and other pieces of evidence of pre-Hispanic Wari and Inca cultures presence. The finding was confirmed by State-run Decentralized Culture Directorate of Cusco (DDCC) specialists in charge of the research. Head archaeologist Javier Fonseca…

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  • Giant Stone Hats of Easter Island Show Additional Carvings

    The moai of Easter Island, ancient and massive statues carved from volcanic rock, have mystified historians and archaeologists for centuries. It was only recently that stone circles made of lighter red scoria stone were identified as being hats for some of the monuments, erected to deified dead ancestors of the Rapa Nui peoples. Now a team of scientists describe new…

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  • This fascinating pre-Incan society, high-up in the Andes, lacked social hierarchies

    New evidence uncovered by archaeologists has shone a light on a pre-Incan society high up in the Andes, which did not have hierarchical social structures as is common today, and was instead built on power sharing and decentralised networks. The settlement, known as Borgatta, was built at some point in the tenth century in what is now Argentina, growing to…

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  • Ancient site in Peru turns up violent, but not deadly lifestyle

    Researchers excavating an ancient ceremonial site in the Andes say the culture that thrived there engaged in violent, non-lethal rituals that led to lots of bloodletting. Skeletal remains from the 13th century B.C. to the sixth century B.C. all bore appalling injuries. The researchers said it is the earliest evidence of ritual violence in a society in the American continent.…

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  • Archaeologists uncover rare artifacts pointing to role of women in Peru’s largest pre-Columbian city

    Archaeologists excavating in Peru’s largest pre-Columbian city, Chan Chan, uncover a rare wooden sculpture depicting a woman, which may redefine our understanding of the role of women in ancient Peru. During her excavations in Northwest Peru, archaeologist Cintia Cueva Garcia discovered four wooden sculptures laid out in a funerary format. While wooden sculptures are a common find near Chan Chan, these…

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  • Ancient Stone Carvings Capture Maya Ballplayers in Action

    The long-lost Maya ruins of Tipan Chen Uitz in Belize are only beginning to give up their secrets, with the latest discovery being something of a home run: Archaeologists found two table-size stone panels, depicting elite ballplayers, that likely would have greeted subjects walking by the palace, according to a new study. The discovery of these two panels reinforces the…

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  • Wood sculptures and other relics found at ancient Chan Chan

    Four wood sculptures —three male and one female— a scepter, metal vessels, textiles and remains of winkles were found at Chayhuac An —probably the first large enclosure at the pre-Columbian adobe city of Chan Chan in northern La Libertad region. The ancient objects were found lying on a funerary platform. The fourth sculpture was unveiled a few days ago, but…

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  • Research on the meaning of ancient geometric earthworks in southwestern Amazonia

    The geometric earthworks of southwestern Amazonia have raised the interest within the scientific community as well as the media and the general public, and they have been explored recently by several international research teams. These unique archaeological sites have been labeled the Geoglyphs of Acre, as most of them are located in the Brazilian State of Acre. Nearly 500 sites…

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  • Tomb of early classic Maya ruler found in Guatemala

    “The Classic Maya revered their divine rulers and treated them as living souls after death,” said research co-director David Freidel, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. “This king’s tomb helped to make the royal palace acropolis holy ground, a place of majesty, early in the history of the Wak — centipede — dynasty. It’s like the ancient…

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