Archaeologists conducting excavations in the Juan N. Méndez Municipality, situated within Mexico’s Puebla state, have unearthed an Olmec ceremonial center, alongside intriguing evidence hinting at the existence of an ancient pyramid within the site.
The Olmec civilization, originating from the modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco, played a pivotal role in shaping Mesoamerica’s history.
This enigmatic society emerged during Mesoamerica’s formative period, spanning from 1800 to 900 BC. Following this foundational phase, the Olmec civilization witnessed the Middle Formative era (900 to 400 BC) and the Late Formative era (400 BC to AD 200).
Among the iconic hallmarks of the Olmec civilization are the colossal stone heads, each crowned with distinctive helmets. The purpose behind these awe-inspiring sculptures has remained a subject of extensive speculation due to the absence of pre-Columbian texts elucidating their significance.
Recent excavations in the Juan N. Méndez Municipality have yielded remarkable results. The archaeological team’s work has uncovered the remnants of an Olmec ceremonial center, providing valuable insights into the cultural practices and rituals of these early inhabitants.
Notably, the excavation efforts have revealed more than just a ceremonial center. Compelling evidence has surfaced, suggesting the presence of a pyramid-like structure within the site.
Adjacent to this potential pyramid, archaeologists have identified four rectangular spaces that likely served as arenas for ball games – a popular activity during that era. These spaces are accompanied by a series of collapsed stones that could have served as seating arrangements for spectators.
Further enhancing the site’s significance are the mounds constructed using earth and stone, reaching heights of up to 5 meters. These mounds underscore the ceremonial importance of the site, indicating that it was a center for performing crucial rituals.
The location of the site within cultivated land holds immense historical value. Experts believe that this site could potentially mark one of the earliest Olmec settlements and ceremonial hubs in the region.
Dr. Maria Hernandez, lead archaeologist of the excavation team, stated, “The discovery of the Olmec ceremonial center and the indications of a pyramid at this site is an exciting revelation that deepens our understanding of the Olmec civilization’s complexities. We are thrilled to uncover more about this ancient culture as our excavation efforts continue.”