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Archaeologists discover Mayan ‘melting pot’

Archaeologists in Guatemala have unearthed new information about the Maya civilisation’s transition from a mobile, hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a sedentary way of life.

Led by University of Arizona archaeologists, the team’s excavations of the ancient Maya lowlands site of Ceibal suggest that as the society transitioned from a heavy reliance on foraging to farming, mobile communities and settled groups co-existed and may have come together to collaborate on construction projects and participate in public ceremonies.

The findings challenge two common assumptions: that mobile and sedentary groups maintained separate communities, and that public buildings were constructed only after a society had fully put down roots.

“There has been the theory that sedentary and mobile groups co-exited in various parts of the world, but most people thought the sedentary and mobile communities were separate, even though they were in relatively close areas,” said Prof. Takeshi Inomata, lead author of the study.

“Our study presents the first relatively concrete evidence that mobile and sedentary people came together to build a ceremonial centre,” Prof. Inomata said. — PTI





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