Date:

Ritual deposits from ancient feasts found at Palenque

Archaeologists have uncovered hundreds of animal remains placed as ritual deposits from ancient feasts in the Maya city of Palenque.

The discovery was made by researchers from the Palenque Archaeological Project of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), where the team found animal remains, coal, small beads made from shells and a green stone ritually deposited in the El Palacio (meaning palace).

- Advertisement -

El Palacio is the largest complex within the ruins of Palenque, likely serving as the ceremonial and administrative centre during the 7th and 8th century AD. The complex interior is a maze of 12 rooms or “houses”, two courts and the tower, a four-level square structure unique in the Maya world.

The context of the deposits correspond with having banquets, after which both the food and the used objects were placed in cavities and burnt. Activity such as this was done to ceremoniously start the construction of major building projects or for ritual events.

inah1
Image Credit : INAH

The remains from the deposits were identified by sieving, a process of sifting with water and floating material in which the researchers constructed two wooden supports with a narrow 1/8 inch mesh on the adjacent Otulúm stream.

A deposit was excavated in House B in the southwest corner of El Palacio. Sieving identified 17 species, 58% of which corresponds to fish, 19% to molluscs, 11% to decapods (crustaceans), 5% to birds, 4% to reptiles and 3% to mammals. They are recognised by their common name: the water mussel, the land snail, the apple snail, the freshwater crab, mojarras, tenguayaca, white bass, quail, white turtle, nine-banded armadillo, domestic dog, cervid and tailed deer. Another deposit located in House E contained 70% of identified species, consisting of 12% to fish and 10% to molluscs, whilst the lowest percentages are reptiles, mammals and birds.

- Advertisement -

The deposits indicate that the inhabitants of Palenque mainly exploited the resources of the nearby freshwater bodies such as streams, swamps, lagoons and rivers, such as the Michol Stream and the Catazajá Lagoon, or the Usumacinta River, the latter in Jonuta, Tabasco.

INAH

Header Image Credit : THP Creative – Shutterstock

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists uncover 4,200-year-old “zombie grave”

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered a "zombie grave" during excavations near Oppin, Germany.

Archaeologists uncover 2,000-year-old clay token used by pilgrims

A clay token unearthed by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, is believed to have served pilgrims exchanging offerings during the Passover festival 2,000-years-ago.

Moon may have influenced Stonehenge construction

A study by a team of archaeoastronomers are investigating the possible connection of the moon in influencing the Stonehenge builders.

Archaeologists explore the resettlement history of the Iron-Age metropolis of Tel Hazor

Archaeologists are conducting a study of the Iron-Age metropolis of Tel Hazor to understand how one of the largest “megacities” of the Bronze Age was abandoned and then resettled.

Excavation uncovers possible traces of Villa Augustus at Somma Vesuviana

Archaeologists from the University of Tokyo have uncovered further evidence of the Villa of Augustus during excavations at Somma Vesuviana.

Study reveals new insights into wreck of royal flagship Gribshunden

Underwater archaeologists from Södertörn University, in collaboration with the CEMAS/Institute for Archaeology and Ancient Culture at Stockholm University, have conducted an investigation of the wreck of the royal flagship Gribshunden.

Microbe X-32 – Is the Plasticene Era coming to an end?

Breaking, a new venture in collaboration with Harvard and the Wyss Institute, is claiming that a new discovery, Microbe X-32, can naturally break down polyolefins, polyesters, and polyamides in just 22 months.

Stone sphere among artefacts repatriated to Costa Rica

395 pre-Columbian artefacts have been repatriated to Costa Rica thanks to a grant by the United States Embassy to the Cultural Agreements Fund.