But some stand out for their uniqueness, their intrigue, or their ability to expand our knowledge about previously unknown aspects of our history. Here we feature ten such artifacts. We have intentionally chosen not to feature well-known artifacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism, Baghdad Battery, Viking Sunstone and many other famous relics.
Maugh II Times Staff Writer Archeologists excavating a 2,year-old Maya city in Guatemala have unearthed buildings and massive carvings indicating the presence of a royal metropolis of more than 10, people at a time when, scientists had previously believed, the Maya were only simple farmers.
New studies at the Cival site in the Peten jungle have unearthed the oldest known carved portrait of a Maya king and two massive stone masks of the Maya maize deity, discoveries indicating that the Maya developed a complex and sophisticated civilization hundreds of years earlier than previously believed.
The city of towering pyramids and sweeping plazas is yielding other surprising artifacts, including jade and ceramic offerings to the gods that may mark the beginnings of the Maya dynasties, Vanderbilt University archeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli said Tuesday during a National Geographic news - web sites Society telephone news conference from Washington.
Estrada-Belli "is pushing back the time for the evidence of Maya state institutions by several centuries," said archeologist Elsa Redmond of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. But other Preclassic sites have been built over, often repeatedly, rendering interpretation of the findings problematic.
Cival, for reasons that are not clear, was abandoned about AD"never to be occupied again," Estrada-Belli said, and has lain relatively untouched since. And because it was preserved, it is now clear that 'Preclassic' is a misnomer," he said. The new evidence shows that "Preclassic Maya societies already had many features that have been attributed to the Classic Period?
The origin of the Maya civilization has to be found in the first part of the Preclassic period, rather than the last part. Most of the site was overgrown by jungle, however, and Graham's team thought it was a minor outpost.
Estrada-Belli has been studying the nearby Classic Period city of Holmul and was using satellite imaging and global positioning systems to explore the surrounding area when he rediscovered Cival four years ago. Estrada-Belli and his colleagues have been digging there with support from the National Geographic Society.
Their findings and those of others studying the Preclassic period are the subject of a National Geographic documentary, "Dawn of the Maya," which will air May 12 on PBS.
The most spectacular find at Cival occurred by accident. Estrada-Belli reached into a fissure in the wall while examining a dank looter's tunnel in the city's main pyramid and came into contact with a piece of carved stucco that felt like a snake or a mustache.
Digging into the site from the other side of the pyramid, he discovered a byfoot stucco mask. The one visible eye was L-shaped and the mouth was squared, with snake's fangs in its center.
The eyes appear to be adorned with corn husks, suggesting the Maya maize deity. Estrada-Belli believes that the masks flanked a pyramid stairway that led to the temple room, providing a backdrop for elaborate rituals in which the king?
The team also found a stela, or carved stone pillar, dating to BC, showing the accession of a king whose name has not yet been determined. The large plaza in front of the pyramid was the scene of offerings to the Maya gods.
In a recess in the plaza, the team found a red bowl, two spondylus shells, a jade tube and a hematite fragment. Behind the recess was a cross-shaped depression containing five smashed jars, one on each arm of the cross and one in the center.
The jars signify water and date to BC, he said. Under the center jar were pieces of jade? Nearby were five jade axes, placed with their blades pointing upward.
The pebbles probably symbolize maize and the axes sprouting maize plants, Estrada-Belli said. Kings in the Classic Period were thought to embody the maize god on Earth, and it seems that this tradition started much earlier than was originally thought, he said.
The team also found a major clue to what probably was the ultimate fate of Cival?
The 6-foot-high wall "was a desperate attempt to close off the inner core of the site," he said. The find surprised him, he said, because "there was no previous evidence of warfare in the Preclassic Period.In archaeological monographs most background material are bed sheets, old pairs of jeans, shirts: if you visit the booth of SAVAGE Universal Corp (Hall , booth E) you can find backdrop material that .
The Mayan Calendar - funny how the Gregorian calendar included leap year and the Mayan calendar did not. We should have vanished a long time ago. Ancient Aztec Calendar was believed to be one of the most advanced instruments the Maya used it helped them predict many things including solar eclipese.
Giant sloth fossils, Mayan Civilization treasures, and 9,year-old human remains are just some of the things that archaeologists have unearthed in a recently discovered underwater cave in Mexico. Historic archaeology incorporates written records into archaeological research. One of the most famous examples of historic archaeology is the discovery and decipherment of the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone is a large slab of marble discovered near Rashid, Egypt, by French archaeologists in It became an important tool of historic archaeology. Ancient Mayan Sun Stone. Historically, the Aztec name for the huge basaltic monolith is Cuauhxicalli Eagle Bowl, but it is universally known as the Aztec Calendar or Sun Stone.
It was during the reign of the 6th Aztec monarch in that this stone was carved and dedicated to the principal Aztec deity: the sun. Rites in the Underworld: Caves as Sacred Space in Mesoamerica We are most grateful to Dr. Holley Moyes, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California, Merced, USA, for this fascinating and perceptive article specially written for us on the importance of caves in ancient Mesoamerica.