Ancient Pyramid Tomb Found in Mexico, Oldest in MesoAmerica!

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PostWed May 19, 2010 1:03 am » by Kingz


Ancient pyramid tomb found in Mexico
May, 18 2010 - BBC

Archaeologists say they have discovered an ancient tomb inside a pyramid in Chiapas in southern Mexico.

They say it could be 2,700 years old, making it the oldest burial site in a pyramid in Mesoamerica.

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Inside the tomb, they found the skeletons of four people, one of them of a man surrounded by jade and amber.

The researchers believe he could have been a high priest or ruler of Chiapa de Corzo, a prominent settlement at the time.

Rich offerings
The team of archaeologists from the University of Brigham Young in the US, the Mexican National Institute of History and Anthropology, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico said the discovery suggests that the use of pyramids as burial sites goes back much further than previously thought and could pre-date Mayan culture.

"A thousand years before we see pyramid tombs used for royal burials in the Mayan region, here in Chiapa de Corzo, they were already burying members of the elite inside pyramids. We're talking about 700BC," the team explained.

The tomb is located inside a pyramid which would have been around 6m-7m (20ft -22ft) high when it was first built, with mud stairs leading to a temple on top of the structure.

The researchers found the tomb deep inside the pyramid. After 24 hours of digging, they unearthed a funerary chamber measuring 4m by 3m. The chamber held the bones of three people: a middle-aged man, a child of about one, and a young man.

Human sacrfice?
The middle-aged man was richly adorned, his mouth was covered with a shell and his teeth were incrusted with jade. He also wore bracelets, anklets, necklaces and what the archaeologists believe to be a funerary mask with eyes made of green obsidian.

Investigators from the Archaeological Project Chiapa de Corzo say that judging by the wealth of jewellery he was buried with, he would have been of high rank.

They said the two other bodies may have been added to the tomb to accompany the dead man to the afterworld and were possibly sacrificed.

The researchers say the position of the bones suggests the baby was carefully placed in the tomb, while the young man was possibly thrown into the burial chamber.

In an annex to the main chamber, the archaeologists found another smaller room containing the skeleton of a woman, also richly adorned with amber and pendants depicting birds and a monkey.

The number and variety of the offerings suggests the people living in this region at the time were trading with places as far away as the Gulf coast of Mexico and Valle Motagua in Guatemala, which was rich in jade.

Bruce Bachand, Emiliano Gallaga and Lynneth Lowe of the archaeological team say the discovery suggests humans have been living in Chiapas at least since 1200BC.

http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/20 ... exico.html
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PostWed May 19, 2010 1:35 am » by Emeraldtruth


Interesting post. I wonder if people's misconceptions about Egyptian pyramids being burial chambers is partially confusion with the Mayans. Not one Egyptian pyramid has been found to house a mummy ever. I think the likes of the history channels editing is the major factor causing the confusion.
All that being said, its odd to me both cultures built pyramids (not to mention mirador,bosnia etc) yet used them differently. Ive wondered for a while: Did an ocean faring race(or sky\space faring) spread the technique or is it natural independent civilisation progression? Essentially, have worldwide pyramids a connection to each other?
Thoughts or points either way appreciated

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PostWed May 19, 2010 1:45 am » by Kingz


emeraldtruth wrote:Interesting post. I wonder if people's misconceptions about Egyptian pyramids being burial chambers is partially confusion with the Mayans. Not one Egyptian pyramid has been found to house a mummy ever. I think the likes of the history channels editing is the major factor causing the confusion.
All that being said, its odd to me both cultures built pyramids (not to mention mirador,bosnia etc) yet used them differently. Ive wondered for a while: Did an ocean faring race(or sky\space faring) spread the technique or is it natural independent civilisation progression? Essentially, have worldwide pyramids a connection to each other?
Thoughts or points either way appreciated



for both of those perpectives are proofs and theory's in the scientific community although probably they will go with the natural progression of civilization.. where alternative research community will go with the ocean faring race aka atlantis / lemuria or the ancient alien theory.

For me personally a lot of evidence points toward an ancient civiliasation that had connections throuhgout key points in the world.

This topic is too big for me to go into a discussion, all I can say for myself is that I don not agree with the common accepted theory's.... it just doesn't do it for me... But I follow archeology pretty close for a lay person, and I notice that they come out with more and more evidence for the theory's that the alternative research community is saying for years... So maybe its just a matter of time before "mainstream'' science accept that their viewpoint of things is not all that good :D

edit:
but interesting thing you point out with pyramids and their use... Mayan pyramids were also not used for burials... but for sacrificial use, and religious use... but not for burial right :headscratch:

also hieroglyphs are on both continents, and Niches in their structures (can't find picture now, but you know what I mean I guess, otherwise say and i will find it ;) )

Anyways there are a lot of similarities in all ancient cultures on the different continents.. to much for coincidences :peep:
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PostWed May 19, 2010 4:22 am » by Emeraldtruth


Cool kingz, I'm pretty much on the same wavelength here. However, in this example, the mayan pyramid was at least partially a burial chamber. The equivalent doesn't exist in Egyptian pyramids. That was the basis of my "different uses" statement.

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PostWed May 19, 2010 5:04 am » by nm156


I've often wondered if burials did not take place following the fall of the original builders of the MesoAmerican Pyramids, were the Olmec the original builders or were the Maya. Perhaps the Mayan civilisation buried there elite in structures that already existed. If the Olmec made the Calender then perhaps they also built or started to build the empire that would become synonomus to the Mayan civilisation. Or maybe I am just an idiot and should keep my ideas to myself. :mrgreen:
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PostWed May 19, 2010 5:20 am » by Newearthman


Do you think the ancient people deliberatly preserved themselves and their structures so people in the future could put together the pieces and remember the past and their acomplishments?
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PostWed May 19, 2010 5:24 am » by Emeraldtruth


bravo nm156. I read a book on Mayan structures etc. a while back that fits with your theory. It was found that the location I read on had encompassed the original structure two separate times spanning hundreds or more years. Great thought, glad you stuck your neck out and shared. Ty :)

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PostFri May 21, 2010 1:47 am » by nm156


newearthman wrote:Do you think the ancient people deliberatly preserved themselves and their structures so people in the future could put together the pieces and remember the past and their acomplishments?

Yes, I feel that anything considered of value then would have been stashed away from harm. We do it now, we can't just assume they found value in unimportant things, there is a reason as to why things have been found so well preserved. It was there attempt to contact the future and perhaps to show that they knew things, things they figured we needed to know. Wheather it be about gods, catastrophies, cosmic activity, and perhaps recognised cycles that came to pass more that once during their history(s). To call these people ignorant, murderous ohfs is a term that I think is debunked. These people are still echoing their expiriences but are we listening, well I am and I don't always like what I am understanding. These people knew things that we now, may never believe or even see as fact until it happens. The cynics and sceptics are on their last breath as far as I am concerned. The proof has been stareing us right in the face since we first discovered there civilization in the 15 hundreds. I also find it odd that the Gregorian calender started after Cortez and his minions stole or destroyed so much of the Mayan civilisation, includeing the knowledge of their calender, which was actually made by the Olmec.
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PostSat May 22, 2010 11:34 am » by Kingz


Pyramid Tomb Found: Sign of a Civilization's Birth?
John Roach, for National Geographic News - Published May 18, 2010

Oldest known Central American pyramid tomb holds royal burials, jewels.

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The oldest known Mesoamerican pyramid tomb, found in Chiapa de Corzo, Mexico. Photograph courtesy Bruce R. Bachand


After sheltering jeweled royals for centuries, the oldest known tomb in Mesoamerica—ancient Central America and Mexico, roughly speaking—has been uncovered, archaeologists announced Tuesday.

Apparently caught between two cultures, the 2,700-year-old pyramid in Chiapa de Corzo (map), Mexico, may help settle a debate as to when and how the mysterious Zoque civilization arose, according to excavation leader Bruce Bachand.

At the time of the pyramid tomb's dedication, hundreds of artisans, vendors, and farmers would have known Chiapa de Corzo as a muggy town, redolent with wood smoke and incense.

Above them towered the three-story-tall pyramid, a "visually permanent and physically imposing reminder" of their past rulers and emerging cultural identity, said Bachand, an archaeologist at Brigham Young University, who co-led the project with Emiliano Gallaga of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History and Lynneth Lowe of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The two rulers found with the pyramid-top tomb had been coated head-to-toe in sacred red pigment. At the center of the tomb, Bachand's team found a male in a pearl-beaded loincloth. To his side lay a companion, likely a female.

On their waists were jade beads shaped like howler monkeys, crocodiles, and gourds. Seashells inlaid with obsidian formed tiny masks for their mouths, which in turn held jade and pyrite ornaments.

Arrayed around the royal corpses were offerings to the gods: ceramic pots, ritual axes perhaps associated with fertility, iron-pyrite mirrors, and a red-painted stucco mask.

"These people were at the top of society, there is no doubt about it," said Bachand, whose work was partly funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

Slightly lower on society's ladder were two apparent human sacrifices, an adult and child, who looked as if they'd been tossed into the tomb. The adult was slumped against the side of the crypt, an arm craned awkwardly over his or her head, Bachand said.

Pyramid an Emblem of an Emerging Culture?
The pyramid tomb is a window into how and when unique cultures emerged from the Olmec, one of the oldest civilizations in the New World, Bachand said.

The Olmec began fanning out from their Gulf of Mexico homeland around 1200 B.C. and influenced many Mesoamerican civilizations to come—to what extent, though, is a longstanding debate among archaeologists.

The Chiapa de Corzo site, in what was a borderland between the Olmec and Maya civilizations, may eventually help settle the debate (interactive map of the Maya Empire).

"We are trying to distill from the archaeology how the Zoque emerged out of an Olmec ancestral base, and it seems like it happened right around the time this tomb appeared," Bachand said.

In the centuries prior to the construction of this tomb, archaeologists believe, Chiapa de Corzo was a large village along a major trade route, likely operated by the Olmec from their capital city, La Venta, on the Gulf Coast.

As Chiapa de Corzo gained wealth and power it began to assert its own identity, Bachand said. The newly discovered tomb, which includes Olmec and Zoque traits, suggests this transition was well underway by 700 B.C.

Some of the tomb's ceramic pots, for example, are identical to pots from La Venta.

On the other hand, the human remains lack the large jade earspools and breastplates commonly found on Olmec remains. What's more, the tomb's stone and clay walls and wooden ceiling represent a unique Zoque style that persisted at Chiapa de Corzo for centuries, Bachand said.

"We think that this is a parting moment" for the Zoque, Bachand said. "Yes, there are Olmec elements lingering around and being incorporated into their culture, but at the same time they are starting to move out and move on."

Prototype of Maya Architecture?
Emerging from the influence of the Olmec, the nascent Zoque culture at Chiapa de Corzo may have been influencing other cultures, in turn—not least the Maya Empire, Bachand suggested.

For one thing, the pyramid, with its long, terraced platform, presages the classic Maya "E group" layout, named after the Group E at the Uaxactún site in Guatemala. Aligned with the sunrise on solstices and equinoxes, E groups appear to have astrological significance.

"So this isn't just any old pyramid," Bachand said. "It appears to be one of the earliest E groups in all of Mesoamerica. That's why we are investigating it.

"And now that we've discovered this early tomb—well heck, no one has discovered a tomb this early in any pyramid, never mind an E group pyramid," he added.

The new findings, he said, suggest that the E group—so strongly associated with the Maya and other Mesoamerican cultures—could actually be a Zoque invention.

Theory "Perfectly Reasonable"
Bachand's conception of Chiapa de Corzo as an emerging capital sits well with Mesoamerican-civilization expert Robert Rosenswig.

"To have a powerful ruling dynasty established at Chiapa de Corzo beginning sometime around 700 B.C. sounds perfectly reasonable," said Rosenswig, an archaeologist at the University of Albany in New York State.

By then the Olmec had been around for 400 to 500 years and had established other centers that were building their own monumental architecture.

"Things were becoming considerably more complex, and it is fairly evident that these groups were all in contact with each other," he said.

Late-Breaking Discovery at Pyramid
In hopes of solidifying his theory, Bachand and his team are digging deeper into the pyramid, hoping to find evidence of more direct contact with the Olmec capital.

Just this past Saturday, they may have found just that—a bluish green jade ceremonial axe, perhaps of Olmec origin, at the base of the pyramid.

"It doesn't have any incised design or anything on it, but it is right on the axis of the building, and we think it is associated with something special," Bachand said.

In 2008 the team had found a pit full of similar axes—including one with an Olmec design on it—in the plaza next to the pyramid as well as a nearby pit where the axes were manufactured.

The discovery of another axe deep inside the tomb, Bachand added, "is definitely associated with an axe offering of Olmec inspiration."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... o-science/
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