Monday, September 21, 2009

El Mirador - Destroyed by Teotihuacanos?

Press reports coming from the El Mirador project are intriguing, to say the least. This will complicate the arguments over the relationships between Teotihuacan and Tikal, and El Mirador and Calakmul.
"Many of the excavated blades are made of obsidian which the archaeologists have traced to a source hundreds of miles away in the Mexican highlands. They believe the spears belonged to warriors from Teotihuacan, an ancient civilization near Mexico City and an ally of Tikal, which was an enemy city of El Mirador.

"We've found over 200 of the obsidian tips alone, as well as flint ones, indicating there was a tremendous battle," said excavation leader Richard Hansen, a senior scientist in Idaho State University's anthropology department who is pushing the pyramid battle theory."


"Hansen's archaeologists found graffiti they believe was left by Teotihuacan fighters who smashed up carved Maya monoliths and left crudely etched skull drawings, known as Tlalocs, on the rock as proof of their victory.

"The Tlaloc is the war god image of the highland Mexicans (and we found it) crudely pecked on these monuments, suggesting that perhaps a hostile event had taken place here," Hansen said."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Immigrants and Abandonment at Kiuic

UPDATE: August 2010 - USA Today returned for a multimedia exploration of Kiuic

Friends and colleagues from the past have made news this weekend with their work at Kiuic, Yucatan, and its Terminal Classic florescence and abandonment. Some choice bits

"Both the pyramids and the palaces look like latter-day additions to Kiuic, built in the 9th century, just as Maya centers farther south were being abandoned. "The influx of wealth ... may spring from immigration," Bey says, as Maya headed north."


"the archaeologists found tools, stone knives and axes, corn-grinder stones called metates ... and pots still sitting in place. "It was completely unexpected," Bey says. "It looks like they just turned the metates on their sides and left things waiting for them to come back.""


"The only sign of warfare is a collection of spear points found in the central plaza of Kiuic. There are signs that construction halted there — a stucco-floored plaza sits half-complete, for example. "Drought seems more likely, that would halt construction," Bey says."