Topic: Cave find, ancient campfire
Mexican Archaeologists Discover Items From Mezcala, Olmec Cultures in Abandoned Cave
Mexican archaeologists have found traces of the Mezcala and Olmec cultures, as well as human remains, in a cave in the southern state of Guerrero, indicating that the site was inhabited at different times and served as a funerary center, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
Specialists found a Mezcala-type figure and campfire remnants dating to 700 A.D. in a cave in Cocula, a city in Guerrero, the INAH said in a statement.
The figure is complete and important because of the limited number of finds of this type, INAH-Guerrero Center archaeologist Miguel Perez Negrete said.
The Mezcala culture is one of the civilizations that developed along the Balsas River and is mainly identified on the basis of its architectural style and anthropomorphic figures.
The discovery was made during construction of a road in Oxtotenco, a hamlet outside the community of Atzcala, Perez Negrete said.
“The most surprising thing was that when we started digging, we also found Olmec ceramics estimaed to date to the year 1000 before our era, as well as pre-Olmec (1200 B.C.), that is, it is more than 3,000 years old,” the archaeologist said.
The human remains consist of fragments and have not been dated yet, but they could be Olmec because of the ceramics associated with them, Perez Negrete said.
June 5, 2013
The Mezcala culture (sometimes referred to as the Balsas culture) is the name given to a Mesoamerican culture that was based in the Guerrero state of southwestern Mexico, in the upper Balsas River region. The culture is poorly understood but is believed to have developed during the Middle and Late Preclassic periods of Mesoamerican chronology, between 700 and 200 BC. The culture continued into the Classic period (c.250-650 AD) when it coexisted with the great metropolis of Teotihuacan.
Archaeologists have studied the culture through limited controlled excavations, the examination of looted artifacts, and the study of Mezcala sculptures found as dedicatory offerings at the Aztec complex of Tenochtitlan.
The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
The Olmec flourished during Mesoamerica’s Formative period, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE Early Olmec culture had emerged centered around the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed. Among other “firsts”, the Olmec appeared to practice ritual bloodletting and played the Mesoamerican ballgame, hallmarks of nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies.
The most familiar aspect of the Olmecs is their artwork, particularly the aptly named “colossal heads”. The Olmec civilization was first defined through artifacts which collectors purchased on the pre-Columbian art market in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Olmec artworks are considered among ancient America’s most striking.