Loading

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Colorado State University Archaeologist Discovers Ancient Lost City in Mexico

A new mesoamerican archaeological site is in the beginning stages of study and excavation. Christopher Fisher, associate professor in CSU’s Department of Anthropology, and his team used handheld GPS devices to map out the site in just one month, accelerating the development of the site as an archaeological find by orders of magnitude compared to using traditional methods of seasonal mapping.

ReadWriteWeb.com reports:
This thousand-year-old urban center stands, overgrown with scrub and soil, in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin in the central Mexican state of Michoacán. Fisher's team used four Trimble Recon rugged handheld computers in conjunction with GeoXH and GeoXT GPS receivers, to do real-time, on-site mapping of over 1,300 architectural features, including hundreds of "house mounds," in just one square kilometer of the site. They took 25 to 30 data points on each feature but were still able to complete the initial full-coverage mapping in a month.
The use of GPS and handheld devices promises to discover and open more mesoamerican sites currently unsurveyed or yet undiscovered, but suspected to exist in great numbers.

The University's office of public relations says:
At the time of European contact, the Purépecha Empire - sometimes called the Tarascan Empire - controlled much of western Mexico with a mutually fortified frontier shared with their rivals, the Aztecs to the east.
The settlement may be as large as 5 square kilometers and dates to A.D. 1000-1520. Initial results suggest the peak occupation of the newly discovered urban center occurred just prior to the formation of the Purépecha Empire, further indicating that results from the study may yield new clues regarding the empire’s formation.

The settlement may be as large as 5 square kilometers and dates to A.D. 1000-1520. Initial results suggest the peak occupation of the newly discovered urban center occurred just prior to the formation of the Purépecha Empire, further indicating that results from the study may yield new clues regarding the empire’s formation.
Additionally:
“Much of this settlement is similar to a modern-day suburb with hundreds of small house mounds where ordinary families lived and carried out activities. By today’s standards this urban center seems small but by documenting these ruins, my team and I are helping anthropologists identify different aspects of ancient cities,” said Fisher. “The Lake Pátzcuaro Basin was the geopolitical core of the empire with a dense population, centralized settlement systems, engineered environment and a socially stratified society.”
More info:
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]