Monumental architecture at Aguada Fénix and the rise of Maya civilization
Vázquez López, Verónica A
Fernandez-Diaz, Juan Carlos
Méndez Bauer, María Belén
García Hernández, Melina
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Anthropol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationInomata, T., Triadan, D., Vázquez López, V.A. et al. Monumental architecture at Aguada Fénix and the rise of Maya civilization. Nature 582, 530–533 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2343-4
RightsCopyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2020
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractArchaeologists have traditionally thought that the development of Maya civilization was gradual, assuming that small villages began to emerge during the Middle Preclassic period (1000-350 bc; dates are calibrated throughout) along with the use of ceramics and the adoption of sedentism(1). Recent finds of early ceremonial complexes are beginning to challenge this model. Here we describe an airborne lidar survey and excavations of the previously unknown site of Aguada Fenix (Tabasco, Mexico) with an artificial plateau, which measures 1,400 m in length and 10 to 15 m in height and has 9 causeways radiating out from it. We dated this construction to between 1000 and 800 bc using a Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. To our knowledge, this is the oldest monumental construction ever found in the Maya area and the largest in the entire pre-Hispanic history of the region. Although the site exhibits some similarities to the earlier Olmec centre of San Lorenzo, the community of Aguada Fenix probably did not have marked social inequality comparable to that of San Lorenzo. Aguada Fenix and other ceremonial complexes of the same period suggest the importance of communal work in the initial development of Maya civilization. Lidar survey of the Maya lowlands uncovers the monumental site of Aguada Fenix, which dates to around 1000-800 bc and points to the role of communal construction in the development of Maya civilization.
Note6 month embargo; published online: 3 June 2020
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
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