Archaeologists have discovered in the state of Tabasco in southern Mexico Mayan monumental complex, Dating to 1000-800 years BC. It is the oldest such structure associated with the Mayan civilization. Article about the discovery published in the journal Nature.
Complex Aguada-Phoenix — the largest of the whole group of Mayan monuments that are discovered through the lidar aerial survey in the state of Tabasco on the border with Guatemala. For all complexes are characterized by a specific architectural pattern: a large rectangular platform in the center of a round or square mound and the long mound in front of her, always the same oriented relative to each other around the world.
The whole group of monuments located at the Western periphery of the territory that was inhabited by the Maya, and is adjacent to the territories that were part of the earlier civilization of the Olmec. In particular, nearby is the famous Olmec complex of San Lorenzo, Dating from 1400-1150 years BC.
A group of scientists headed by Inomata Takeshi (Takeshi Inomata) from the University of Arizona found in Aguada Phoenix artificial platform right shape with a length of 1413 meters and a width of 399 meters, it towers over the surrounding landscape at 10-15 meters. This main structure is surrounded by many smaller structures: dams, ramps, platforms and the like. During the excavation the researchers found instead of 69 samples of charred organic matter that could be dated by the radiocarbon method and attributed to 1000-800 years BC — the beginning of the so-called middle preclassic period of the Maya civilization. Until recently, scientists believed that the Maya at this time only become settled and they were still far to monumental construction.
The authors note that the construction of huge platforms is characteristic of the Olmec, whereas the Maya a later period preferred “vertical monumentality”, in particular, the pyramids. However, neither Aguada-Phoenix or in related Mayan complexes, not found huge statues characteristic of the Olmec, and generally exhibits no signs visible social stratification.
In 2018 in the North of Guatemala, adjacent to the Mexican state of Tabasco, lidar found more than 60 thousand buildings of the Maya.