The outdoor adventure and exploration community is mostly on lockdown across the globe, with very few expeditions currently underway. In fact, while much of the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, most explorers, mountaineers, and travelers are sticking close to home, which means there isn’t a lot to report on right now. But some recent news from the archeological community is worth mentioning, with two stunning discoveries uncovered in Mexico and Russia.
There has been a spate of discoveries in Mexico in recent years, usually uncovering new sites that belonged to the Mayan civilization. That trend continued recently when a pair of archaeology students who were visiting the country were tipped off to a site by some locals. As it turns out, that site, which was found in the backyard of a farmer, was the lost capital of the ancient kingdom of Sak Tz’i’. Settled in 750 BCE, the place was reportedly inhabited for more than a thousand years. So far, researchers have uncovered a 45-foot 13-meter) high pyramid, a number of homes, several religious site, a sports field, and the city’s center. The team exploring the location had hoped to return in June with LiDar equipment to further scan the area, but considering the current state of affairs, that seems unlikely in the short term.
Meanwhile, archaeologists in Russia have uncovered a find that is even more unique and stunning than the one found in Mexico. Researchers there have discovered an ancient structure, constructed more than 25,000 years ago, that was built completely out of the bones of mammoths. This is the first time that such a building has been found anywhere, but adding to the mystery is that scientists aren’t sure exactly what the place was used for. Theories include some kind of place for holding rituals and perhaps a shelter from enemies and the elements. But what researchers do agree on is that the circular shaped structure took a lot of time an effort to create, thanks in no small part to the size and weight of the mammoth bones themselves. This discovery has provided an interesting, and highly unique, look back at an era in human history of which very little is known.
As I typically say when sharing stories of this nature, it never ceases to amaze me what kinds of things these archaeologists continue to uncover around the world. I’m sure there are some crazy things still out there, just waiting for us to find them.
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