The foundation of the platform A-24 was built a thousand years before our era. (Photo by Takeshi Inomata.)
In Guatemala detected buildings, similar to the ancient Olmec. Apparently, the Maya succumbed to the cultural influences of some other tsivilizatsii.Prichiny on which a thousand years ago, a brilliant Maya civilization collapsed, remains one of the great mysteries of history. Nevertheless, the judge of that as we can. Rumor has it, it's in a terrible drought: agriculture is no longer able to feed artisans, officials, priests, soldiers, and other urban residents, but because the state ordered the Mayan long to live.
Of the times of origin of the latter is even less known. Newly discovered by archaeologists ceremonial area and the pyramids were a few centuries older than all other Mayan ruins and even more confused historians.
Stepped pyramid and open spaces for the rites, — a typical feature of early Mayan settlements relating to around 800 BC. e. At that time in Central America dominated the Olmec civilization, which had a huge impact on the culture of neighboring nations. Because of the pyramid of the same date 800 BC. e., are also found in the main city of the Olmec La Venta in Mexico, many experts believe that the Maya borrowed the "know-how" from their predecessors.
However, new discoveries in Maya Seibal in the central part of Guatemala to the contrary. Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona (USA) and his colleagues found a small pyramid and several major platforms (one of them is 55 meters long and a meter high), which are very similar to the examples of the architecture of La Venta.
Radiocarbon dating of organic samples found on buildings, found that a small pyramid was built around 850 BC. e., that is, immediately before the pyramids are commonplace in La Venta, and the long platform appeared at all in 1000 BC. e. In other words, it is 200 years older than the other Mayan monuments and buildings of La Venta. Consequently, although the Maya and experienced some cultural influence Olmec, they learned not to build them.
Maybe the Mayans came up with all by yourself? No, in Central America, there are more ancient pyramids and square — they are located to the south-west of Seibal near the Pacific coast. City Ojo de Agua near the border of Mexico and Guatemala did not belong to a large sort of Olmec civilization, but its impressive buildings of about 50-100 years older seybalskih. There are other pyramid complexes and areas that may be even older, but their dating is questionable.
It turns out that the ancient culture of Central America influenced each other and establish the very first source is likely to be very difficult.
An even more difficult question is why the pyramid. It is known, for example, that the Olmecs lived more than a century — not grieve, not thinking about the pyramids. Mr. Inomata suggests that the cause of fashion for these facilities to be found in the political upheavals. Perhaps it all began with the fall of Olmec city of San Lorenzo, 100 km west of La Venta in less than 100 years before the first pyramid Ojo de Agvy. San Lorenzo has provided a huge cultural and political influence in Central America, but then the situation has changed, there was a political vacuum, began experimenting with new ideas. The result is a more unified and collective religious practices, which pyramid complexes and squares fit very well.
The first state of the Maya has developed only in the III. BC. e. — Many centuries after Seibal platforms and pyramids, but, apparently, that's where it all began.
The study is published in the journal Science.
Prepared according to NewScientist.
See also: Secret Antarctica Mystery pyramid of Cheops.