Archeologists have stumbled upon an ancient palace complex while excavating a site in Mexico’s Oaxaca valley. The palatial compound likely belongs to the Zapotec civilization that flourished around 2, 5000 years ago in the Mexico. But for some unknown reason it disappeared, leaving behind lots of impressive ruins.
Since 1993, a pair of archaeologists from American Museum of Natural History is working at this particular El Palenque site located in the southern highlands of Mesoamerica and they have unearthed various buildings ever since. In the latest effort, researchers have found what appears to be a palace compound stretching approximately 2,790 square meters. The palace was not only used as a residency but also as a commercial center.
In this multi-purpose structure, researchers have found the remnants of business offices, a staircase, a dining area and even a place where sacrificial rituals were performed. Researchers believe that the palace appeared to serve as both home and business center for the ruler of the ancient empire. The complex design of the structure also suggests that Zapotec civilization was much more advanced than the rest of the ancient civilizations. At that time, there were no machines, so the construction required a lot of manpower over a long period of time.
“It was a multifunctional palace, composed of courts and buildings where government officials assembled to conduct state affairs, as well as the ruler’s residential quarters. We purpose that the palace complex was built in a single large-scale construction effort.” Authors wrote the study.
Researchers also suggest the newly-discovered palace is likely the oldest known palace in the Valley of Oaxaca but is quite similar to the royal palaces documented in Mesoamerican region before.
Understanding the early history of people living in the Mexico in ancient times is difficult because they didn’t leave behind any written material. Because of that, researchers have to rely on the excavation work at the site to piece together the history of the mysterious civilization. The new discovery will offer more insight into the life and culture of the ancient Mexican people.
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