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Giant Maya Structure Discovered in Mexico

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Mexico Aguada FenixTABASCO, MEXICO—The Guardian reports that a team of researchers led by Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona has detected a large, rectangular platform made of earth in southern Mexico with the use of lidar technology, which employs lasers to generate 3-D models of vegetation-covered terrain. The structure, thought to have been built by the Maya between 1000 and 800 B.C., measures more than 4,500 feet long by 1,300 feet wide and up to 50 feet tall. “Because it is so large horizontally, if you walk on it, it just looks like natural landscape,” Inomata said. The remote-sensing survey also found nine causeways and reservoirs linked to the structure. The researchers suggest the site, named Aguada Fénix, may have been used as a gathering place for special occasions and rituals. “The rituals probably involved processions along the causeways and within the rectangular plaza,” Inomata added, explaining that deposits of symbolic objects such as jade axes were found in the center of the plateau. To read about a Maya city with an urban grid, go to "The City at the Beginning of the World."

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