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Mexican archaeologists discover two burials estimated to be over 500 years old
According to the analysis of the ceramic objects, made by archaeologist Janis Rojas, these consist primarily of jug, pot and bowl pieces, among others, and they belong to the occupancy sequence that comprises the beginning of the Pre Classic period (1200 – 400 B.C) and ends with the Late Postclassic period (1350 – 1519 A.D). Photo: Archaeologist Janis Rojas ROJAS/INAH.

Translated by: Cristina Perez Ayala

MEXICO CITY.- In a pharmaceutical company’s premises, located in the municipal district of Miguel Hidalgo of Mexico City, specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH-Conaculta) recovered two burials that are over 500 years old, as well as other ceramic remains. Given the possibility that there could be more pre Hispanic element findings in the area, INAH elaborated an archaeological salvage project that will take place in said area.

The findings in the pharmaceutical company’s property, in the Granada residential area, where registered after the company’s workers dug a ditch of 80 centimeters [31.5 inches] wide, 10 meters [32.80 feet] long and 2 meters [6.56 feet] deep in the piece of land where they will build another corporate building.

These discoveries were responsibly reported to INAH by the company, which allowed the finding to be handled by personnel of the Archaeological Salvage and Physical Anthropology Offices.

According to the analysis of the ceramic objects, made by archaeologist Janis Rojas, these consist primarily of jug, pot and bowl pieces, among others, and they belong to the occupancy sequence that comprises the beginning of the Pre Classic period (1200 – 400 B.C) and ends with the Late Postclassic period (1350 – 1519 A.D)

The preliminary studies of the experts at the Physical Anthropology branch of INAH that where applied to the pair of skeletons discovered at the site reveal that these date back to the Late Posclassic period. The bones were found in a fetal position inside the ditch, and belong to a male and a female, both adults, who died around the ages of 40-45 and 20 respectively.

Inside the same ditch they found three small spindles and a small pot that must have been deposited beside the lifeless bodies as offerings.

A good amount of the jug, pot and bowl pieces have a red pigment; also there are figurines that represent deities, whose duty was to protect the home (like the Cihuateteo), and figurines representing warriors and animals that accompanied the dead, such as dogs, or figurines that represented gods, such as the case of a monkey figurine that alludes to Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl. They also were able to recover green obsidian knives.

To archaeologist Janis Rojas, the archaeological salvage that will take place in the property of the Bayer Company’s branch in Mexico (which has offered all the facilities for the archaeological labors), implying systematic excavations, will be of topmost priority in order to learn more about the cultural structure of Cuenca de Mexico in the pre Hispanic era.

“Little by little we are putting together the pieces of a puzzle, and as we obtain more remains we can better comprehend the images of our past. This is information that, unfortunately, because of the rapid growth of the capital and constant construction, we are rapidly losing and it’s only possible to recover it by salvages and rescues. In this sense, the cooperation of building companies is essential.

“The inhabitants of the settlements found in this area were privileged because they had very rich lands in which they could sow, they could fish on the lake and they obtained their water from the San Joaquin and los Morales rivers. Also, the forest would allow them to obtain wood, fruits and nuts and they could also hunt”, Said Janis Rojas, who is also a professor at the National School of History and Anthropology.

Finally, the archaeologist Janis Rojas said that although there are few rescues and salvages in the Granada residential area, these have been important testimonies in the past, such as the finding –a few years ago– of a mammoth’s fang in Lago Alberto Street. Because of this, they hope that the next archaeological labor can rescue more remains of the Pleistocene fauna, which date back 100,000 years, approximately.

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February 18, 2013

Mexican archaeologists discover two burials estimated to be over 500 years old

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