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Possible Embassy Complex Unearthed at Maya City of Tikal

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Guatemala TikalGUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA—According to a Science Magazine report, recent investigation of an area of the Maya city of Tikal in northern Guatemala has uncovered a complex that resembles the citadel at Teotihuacan, which is located more than 600 miles away, in what is now Mexico City. Archaeologist Edwin Román Ramírez of the Foundation for Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage and his colleagues said they found Teotihuacan-style weapons, some of which were made from green obsidian from central Mexico; incense burners; carvings of Teotihuacan’s rain god; and a burial with Teotihuacan-style offerings in the pyramid, its enclosed courtyard, and two nearby buildings. Ceramics found within the pyramid have been dated to around A.D. 300, or about 100 years before Teotihuacan is thought to have invaded Tikal in A.D. 378. “We can’t say for sure that the people who built this were from Teotihuacan,” Román Ramírez said. “But they were certainly people who were very familiar with its culture and traditions.” Analysis of the human remains recovered at the site could reveal where the person was raised. An elite Maya compound, whose murals had been smashed and buried, has also been discovered in Teotihuacan. The researchers suggest that the mirror-image sites reflect embassies staffed with diplomats in the two cities before the invasion. For more on recent research at Tikal, go to "Around the World: Guatemala."

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