Skip to comments.Mexican archaeologists find 2,500-year-old altar
Posted on 05/28/2012 7:23:38 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
An altar and a stela estimated to date from as early as 800 B.C. were found at the Chalcatzingo archaeological site in the central state of Morelos, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said.
The altar is rectangular and covered with engravings representing rain.
A few meters (yards) away from the altar was an unfinished stela standing 1.7 meters (5 feet 6 inches) tall.
The pieces are thought to have been made between 800 and 500 B.C., about the same age as another altar and a relief depicting three cats that archaeologists from INAH's Morelos Center found at Chalcatzingo less than a year ago.
The latest discoveries came during excavations of a residential area that appears to date from the Late Classical period of the Olmec culture, A.D. 700-900, archaeologist Carolina Meza said.
She said the difference in age between the new pieces and their surroundings can be explained by an Olmec practice of repurposing and - in some cases - decommissioning architectonic elements.
The altar and stela from the Preclassical period would have been buried inside buildings to strip them of their original significance in Olmec rites, she said.
The latest finds bring to 44 the number of altars, stelas and reliefs discovered at Chalcatzingo, INAH said.
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Nothing as far back as the Olmecs indicate any human sacrifice. Not in the statues or depictions, anyway. Many of their rituals probably evolved into Mayan and Aztec ones that did involve it, however. It was never as common as animal sacrifice, though.
It's obviously a feline run society. The 'stela' is actually a giant scratching post. And the relief represents the 3 wise cats. The cats probably had voyaged from Egypt.
My sweetie & I took a Caribbean cruise earlier in the spring, stopping in Costa Maya. They told us that there are something like a thousand ancient sites that have been found, but not thoroughly excavated yet. Lots of entertainment for archeologists down there.
What next Fox news in Arabic?.
Better that than Al Jazeera in English.
Cats used to be worshiped as gods. They have not forgotten this.
Sorry about the triple post. Stupid computer.
The pieces are thought to have been made between 800 and 500 B.C., about the same age as another altar and a relief depicting three cats .... The latest discoveries ..appears to date from the Late Classical period of the Olmec culture, A.D. 700-900, archaeologist Carolina Meza said.