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TOPIC: In El Salvador, located the remains of last Mayan kingdom

In El Salvador, located the remains of last Mayan kingdom 8 years 8 months ago #3558

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In El Salvador, located the remains of last Mayan kingdom
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The archaeological site of San Andrés treasure a story yet to decipher the presence of the Maya Became the center of attention during the visit of U.S. President, Barack Obama, held in El Salvador in March, the archaeological site of San Andrés is a treasure trove of El Salvador, considered the last Maya kingdom in the southeast Mesoamerica.

Located in the department of La Libertad, in the center of the country, particularly in the banks of the Rio Sucio, toward the center Zapotitán Valley, this enclave treasure a story yet to be deciphered on the presence of the Maya in central America and the sister city of Copan, Maya also built in western Honduras, near the border between both countries.

Worldwide attention focused on this place in March, when the U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, visited him in a Latin American tour that also led to Brazil and Chile.

Some purchases of handicrafts by the visitors and their interest in the tour will be in memory of those who were in a place whose story attracted to the Obama family and, since its discovery; it is of research study, which 1940 launched the first project on the site.

Early research

According to the National Archaeological Foundation of El Salvador (Fund), the site of San Andrés was named after the farm where he was, which were reserved for study 54 blocks (38 hectares).

Its center contains a complex of monumental pyramids and outbuildings in an area of ​​approximately 20 hectares.

At the site include at least seven structures, including one called the "big bell" which, at first glance, is a mound that is not known what it houses, as it has not yet been studied.

"From the year 600 (AD) began in San Andres a monumental building program" until then unprecedented in Zapotitán Valley area, said Paul Amaroli archaeologist, who has conducted several investigations on this site, and indicated that in place there is a "series of pyramids around a square."

"The pyramids were probably a funerary, although not proven they were for tombs of kings and queens and maybe close family," said Amaroli, who noted that its inhabitants' ancestors liked to have around. "

Among the peasantry, "I had my house, perhaps buried under the floor of my grandfather or my dad, or in the yard, to make offerings, to be in contact with them. In a palace applied the same principles, they wanted their people around (...). The funerary monuments were within walking distance and time, perhaps a simple stone pyramids with an oratory are over ", he said.

The first excavator of San Andres, John Dimick, and the historic area divided into two sectors: an acropolis (platform that supports other structures) and a Grand Plaza.

The research found that the Acropolis covers a small open square that was filled with between 500 000 and 600 000 to make adobe bricks on a raised platform and access restricted.

"They filled all the space in the middle of the square (...), almost covered the pyramids, and built a palace on top, which is probably a reflection of who is buried in the landfill. That's what they get what is called an acropolis, a very large platform that supports other, "said the archaeologist.
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The brotherhood with Copan

San Andrés shares much with Copan, a complex situated in the territory of what is now Honduras and was a Maya capital from 400 AD

He said that at first glance have in common the fact that both have an acropolis with several pyramids and beside the Acropolis have a palace and several buildings.

"The size is slightly larger than the acropolis of San Andrés. North of the Acropolis of Copan is a large square structures defined by long, little investigated, "he said.

According to the expert, "at a glance, San Andres seem like a simplified version of Copan," and did not rule out the possibility that the city in El Salvador was built under the aegis of Honduras.

"Perhaps most directly the Copan dynasty (participated in the founding of the city), sending a child to establish a local dynasty warriors and a few working in the same ethnic area, for them the same language, but rule", explained specialist.

He cited as another hypothesis that this city in El Salvador "is related" to Copán, probably through the marriage of a daughter.

Amaroli noted, moreover, that in one of the structures studied, which is a multi-level pyramid, they discovered an offering and utensils used in rituals. Among the items are a spiny sea shell collecting blood in which a stingray spine used for self-sacrifice, a vessel is presumed to come from the Petén (Guatemala) and Belize as well as an unusually large eccentric flint.

"Finding an eccentric flint of that magnitude, because it was made of obsidian, means not only the organizational power that people had, but also had religious significance and power of the priests," declared itself a national director of Heritage the Ministry of Culture, Ramon Rivas, who added that it is "well made flint."

According to investigators, the scepters of flint objects were eccentric to the operations of the elites of the Maya Classic period, perhaps ritual purposes.

A part of history

"San Andres is the last Mayan kingdom in southeastern Mesoamerica," said Amaroli, while Rivas emphasized that the research suggests that there is evidence that the inhabitants of this area share the knowledge of the Maya.

"Here were scientists Maya, like astronomers, social experts and connoisseurs of agricultural techniques, together with the priests, had the task of organizing society to enhance mutual coexistence," said the director of Heritage.

Rivas said he "was very well-organized societies, little by little, with the archaeological findings, trying to understand and interpret how they might have lived."

About the end of this civilization, scientists believe that St. Andrew, Tazumal and other centers of the Late Classic period in El Salvador were abandoned between 850 and 900 AD in a local version of the "Maya collapse," a phenomenon not yet clarified and is still a matter of debate.

In San Andres there any human activity even after the "collapse", but instead effectively ceased to exist as a community, according to researchers. Amaroli said that during the excavations at San Andrés were found potsherds similar to those of Cihuatán, other urban settlements in the area founded around the year 900 AD, after the so-called "Maya collapse."

"It almost seems the idea of ​​a conquest of a very weak center and, perhaps for the 'collapse', which was abandoned. That's the last thing that occurs in San Andres to become a colony, "he said”.

Courtesy El Universal
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