Date:

Archaeologists uncover Olmec ceremonial centre

Archaeologists excavating in the Juan N. Méndez Municipality, located in the in the Mexican state of Puebla, have uncovered an Olmec ceremonial centre and evidence of a possible pyramid.

The Olmec are the earliest known Mesoamerican civilisation (also referred to as the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica). The name ‘Olmec’ comes from the Nahuatl word: Ōlmēcatl or Ōlmēcah, meaning ‘rubber people’.

The Olmec civilisation emerged in the present-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco during Mesoamerica’s formative period (1800 to 900 BC), with the subsequent periods being defined as the Middle Formative (900 to 400 BC), and the Late Formative (400 BC to AD 200).

The best-known facet of the Olmec civilisation are massive helmeted stone heads. As there are no existing pre-Columbian texts elucidating to their purpose, these remarkable monuments have fuelled extensive conjecture over the years.

- Advertisement -

Heavy rains in the Juan N. Méndez Municipality have led to the discovery of a possible pyramid, and four rectangular spaces that were likely used for ball games. Adjacent to the spaces are a series of collapsed stones that could have served as stands for spectators.

Archaeologists have also identified mounds constructed with earth and stone up to 5 metres in height, indicating the significance of the site as a ceremonial centre for performing important rituals.

The site was located in cultivated land, which archaeologists suggest could have significant historical importance, as it could be one of the first Olmec settlements and ceremonial sites in the region.

Header Image Credit : Carmen Flores

- Advertisement -
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.

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Preserved temples from the Badami Chalukya era found in India

Archaeologists from the Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage (PRIHAH) have announced the discovery of two temples dating from the Badami Chalukya era.

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Neanderthals created stone tools held together by a multi-component adhesive

A new study published in the journal Science Advances has found evidence of Neanderthals creating stone tools that are held together using a multi-component adhesive.

Roman funerary altar found partially buried in Torre river

Archaeologists have recovered a Roman funerary altar which was found partially buried in the Torree river in the municipality of San Vito al Torre, Italy.

Post-medieval township discovered in Scottish forest

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a pre-medieval township in the Glen Brittle Forest on the Isle of Skye.

Geophysical study finds evidence of “labyrinth” buried beneath Mitla

A geophysical study has found underground structures and tunnels beneath Mitla – The Zapotec “Place of the Dead”