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Maya Site Inhabitants Manufactured Weapons and Tools
Polychrome vase, San Claudio archaeological site in Tabasco. Photo: José Luis Romero/INAH.
MEXICO CITY.- Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) explore in Tenosique, Tabasco, an archaeological site of Maya affiliation dedicated exclusively to manufacture weapons and tools.

San Claudio “was occupied from 200 BC to 900 AD by Maya workers at the service of other community of higher hierarchy”, informed archaeologist Jose Luis Romero Rivera, director of the excavation project at the site.

Located in the contact region between Chiapas Mountain Range and Guatemala, this site accounts for quotidian life of ancient Maya population dedicated to weapons and tools manufacture, which were commercialized with other towns.

“One of the main activities at the site was flint exploitation; we have found a great amount of this mineral debris all over the place. Due to its relatively easy manipulation, it was used to create sharp tools such as knives, axes and arrowheads”.

Flint was a strategic material since metal was not known and they would not count on with obsidian, controlled by most important cities, he added. They created an industry based on exploitation and commercialization of this mineral, displacing obsidian and allowing them to be independent from great commercial networks.

Romero Rivera declared that the site has been researched by the Institute since 1998; “it is not one of the great Maya capitals, but a small site probably subdued to Piedras Negras ancient city, located 40 kilometers away from San Claudio.

“We have not found inscriptions or architectural elements such as in places like Palenque. There are no tall buildings, but urban organization is delimited by rectangular patios probably used to manufacture objects”.

The INAH archaeologist commented that to present, 3 buildings have been explored, of 97 detected at the site; most of them correspond to pyramidal bases and platforms, distributed on a 70 hectares area.

“We have not found a defined architectural style at San Claudio, but a strong influence of Peten is present; there are battered bases with rounded corners”.

Other aspect that reveals inhabitants of San Claudio were humble people is the discovery (some years ago) of 30 human skeletons buried with small offerings.

“Most elaborated burials at San Claudio are tombs made out of limestone slabs, accompanied with simple offerings; the most complex one had 3 bowls, while the most humble funerals had just one bowl or plate that covered the face”.

This reveals there were not elite groups, coinciding with the absence of palaces or jade offerings, concluded Jose Luis Romero.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Jose Luis Romero Rivera | Maya |




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