Ancient Mayan ‘Pompeii’ village with manioc field discovered in El Salvador

This is a video about the Mayan ruins of Tikal, Guatemala.

From the Independent in South Africa:

Volcano preserved early Mayan field

August 21 2007 at 09:17AM

Washington – A volcanic eruption that buried a Mayan village 1 400 years ago preserved a manioc field – the first evidence that the nutritious crop was cultivated by the ancient people, researchers said on Monday.

The discovery may help explain how the civilisation prospered, the team at the University of Colorado at Boulder said. It is the first evidence for cultivation of the calorie-rich tuber in the New World.

“We have long wondered what else the prehistoric Mayan people were growing and eating besides corn and beans, so finding this field was a jackpot of sorts for us,” anthropologist Payson Sheets, who led the expedition, said in a statement.

Manioc‘s extraordinary productivity may help explain how the Classic Maya at huge sites like Tikal in Guatemala and Copan in Honduras supported such dense populations.”

The manioc field lay under 3 metres of ash at the ancient village of Ceren, 24km west of San Salvador, Sheets said.

Like Italy’s Pompeii, Ceren’s buildings, artifacts and landscape were preserved by the sudden eruption of a volcano – in this case the nearby Loma Caldera volcano about 600AD.

“What we essentially found was a freshly planted manioc field that was 1 400 years old,” Sheets said.

The team, which uses ground-penetrating radar to help direct excavations, has found 12 buildings at Ceren, including homes, storehouses, workshops, kitchens, religious buildings and a community sauna.

Several dozen other structures located with ground-penetrating radar remain buried under up to 5 metres of ash, said Sheets.

The Mayan civilisation thrived in what is now Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, southern Mexico and Belize until it disappeared mysteriously around 1000AD.

Ancient Maya Used “Glitter” Paint to Make Temple Gleam: here.

4 thoughts on “Ancient Mayan ‘Pompeii’ village with manioc field discovered in El Salvador

  1. Pingback: Guatemala ecology, archaeology threatened | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Guatemalan Mayan temple discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Maya queen’s tomb discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Big Maya archaeological discovery in Guatemala | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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