Researchers have recently uncovered a Maya site in southeastern Mexico that may have been the capital of Sak Tz’i’, a kingdom mentioned in inscriptions uncovered at other Maya sites, and looted artifacts which turn up on the market. Such clues were used in the early 2000s to model the hypothetical boundaries of Sak Tz'i' territory and the likely location of its capital. And recent archaeological work involving locals and building on the model has found a site filled with Sak Tz'i' monuments.
Translated as “white dog,” Sak Tz’i’ was a small state founded in 750 BCE and surrounded by more powerful states. The city was protected on one side by steep-walled streams, while masonry walls were built around the rest of the site. But these defenses were likely insufficient. So the researchers suspect the city’s leaders must have engaged in political maneuverings with the kingdom’s stronger neighbors in order to survive for more than 1,000 years.
The team members have found evidence of pyramids, a royal palace, a ball court, sculptures, and inscriptions describing rituals, battles, a mythical water serpent, and the dance of a rain god. Current archaeological work focuses on stabilizing and mapping the site.
Rice originated in Asia, although scholars have not yet reached a consensus as to where exactly in Asia, with some arguing for equatorial India and others for the mountainous regions in sub-tropical India.
The Akkadian Empire's capital, Akkad, dominated the Mesopotamian region for about 150 years in the late 3000s BCE. Its language was the language of diplomacy. It sent military expeditions as far as Anatolia and Oman. Yet we still are not sure where, exactly, Akkad was! The city's location remains unknown although there are several candidates, mostly to the east of the Tigris River.
A stela discovered in September of 2018 at the Tak'alik Ab'aj Archaeological Park in western Guatemala is providing hints about the development of the Maya writing system. The 2,000-year-old hieroglyphs are still being translated. However, initial analyses show it is an example of early Mayan writing. Tak'alik Ab'aj appears to have been a laboratory for experimenting with language as visual scenes took on linguistic elements. According to epigrapher Nikolai Gruber of Germany’s University of Bonn, the stela appears to refer to a ruler and his titles in an early Mayan text. But since it is an early version of the known Mayan script, translating exactly what the stela states is tricky.
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By Lillian Audette
This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!