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Pyramid, along with 2,000-year old graves discovered in Jaltipan, Mexico

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

An ancient settlement, which included 30 skeletons and the ruins of a pyramid have been discovered in Jaltipan, Mexico by a construction crew. Officials believe the finds to be around 2,000 years old. According to the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, archaeologists also found clay figurines, jade beads, mirrors and animal remains.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The town of Jaltipan, southeast of Veracruz, was occupied from around the first century A.D. until A.D. 600 or 700. Very little is known about the area's settlers. The unearthed skeletons will be analyzed so that researchers can learn about how they were treated for burial.

"All that is known so far is that of the 30 burials, two at least belong to infants," explained archaeologist Alfredo Delgado in a statement from INAH.

Interestingly, deer antlers and bones that may belong to dogs, coyotes, deer, fish and birds were also found buried with the bodies. Researchers say that these may have been intended as animal companions for the afterlife. There's also evidence that the inhabitants of the site were fossil collectors, as the fossilized teeth of a long extinct Megalodon-type shark were discovered as well.

Artifacts found at the site borrow from more than one culture: Some figurines and brickwork look Mayan, while there was also pottery that looks like it came from ancient city of Teotihuacan.

"Analyses will enable us to see whether this site was multicultural, as is indicated by the materials found, or whether the inhabitants were all of the same genetic type," Delgado said.

The pyramid found on a hill near the burials is made of stone slabs and stretches 39 feet tall. The structure resembles a Mayan or Tajin pyramid in construction. While pre-Columbian stone monuments have been found in Los Tuxtlas and the Sierra de Santa Marta, archaeologists say this type of ancient stone architecture has rarely been found in the southern part of the state of Veracruz.

Bricks found in Jaltipan resemble those found at Comacalco, a Mayan city 74 miles away in the Tabasco region.

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