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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Palace Excavated in Oaxaca

Friday, March 31, 2017

El Palenque palaceNEW YORK, NEW YORK—Science News reports that Elsa Redmond and Charles Spencer of the American Museum of Natural History have excavated a 2,300-year-old palace on the north side of the plaza at El Palenque, located in southern Mexico’s Valley of Oaxaca. The archaeologists say that the purpose-built complex, complete with a rainwater collection system, could be one of the earliest centralized government buildings in the Americas. Its residential quarters, courts, and buildings where government officials may have conducted affairs of state covered an area of more than 20,000 square feet. Skull fragments in the courtyard indicate that ritual sacrifices may have been performed there as well. To read more about archaeology in Oaxaca, go to "Deconstruction a Zapotec Figurine."

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