2,500-year-old village hid in Tlalpan’s center

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This 2,500-year-old grave containing the skeletal remains of at least 10 people was photographed during a salvage excavation in Tlalpan, Mexico. Photo: INAH

A mysterious circle of intertwined human skeletons has been unearthed by archaeologists outside Mexico City.

INAH researchers this week revealed the burial site discovered at Tlalpan, an area with rich soil, fresh water and animals for hunting that was a focus for Mesoamerican societies centuries before the reign of the Aztecs.

Jimena Rivera Escamilla, the archaeologist who led the dig, said the burial appears to be part of a ritualistic ceremony. One head was on the chest of another, and the hands of one skeleton were placed on the back of another, she told Televisa News.

The traces of one of the oldest villages in Central Mexico have been cataloged by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History for the last five months in the courtyard of the Pontifical University of Mexico.

Behind the yellow walls of this building that covers a whole block in the heart of Tlalpan, vestiges of floors, walls, a 6-meter-long rectangular platform all belonged to a farming village that flourished between 400 and 200 BC, long before the Teotihuacán boom, on a slope near the Xochimilco lake and the Fuentes de Brotantes River.

There, in some 21 pits that are called truncated by their shape — dug in the shape of an inverted cone directly into the natural soil — a cluster of ceramic fragments, bowls, bowls, miniature figurines and skeletons of those who inhabited that population have sprung up.

The 2,400-year-old skulls faced several directions, and 10 dirt-brown, pre-Aztec skeletons fanned out to the edges of an area resembling the cosmic spiral of the Milky Way. Nothing like it has been found before.

“We are talking about a sedentary society, which was dedicated to agriculture, since in those trunks they stored their crops. They had a high knowledge of pottery because we can find fragments of very elaborate vessels, with a highly developed cooking and decorating technique; there are some figurines in human forms, especially feminine, very detailed, with pigments,” explains the archaeologist Escamilla, who is in charge of the rescue in this property where the Catholic institution plans to expand its facilities.

A release from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said the find might help refine understanding of ancient societies in the pre-classical period.

The skeletons come from a group that occupied the area for 500 years, wedged in between the Zacatenco phases of 700 to 400 B.C., the era major civilizations in Mexico were developed, and the Ticoman era of 400 to 200 B.C.

Escamilla has not determined how the 10 people died, but if they find out, it would be another revelation about how ancient societies lived and died.

Source: El Universal, Washington Post

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