Some archaeologists have questioned the Maya road using airborne lidar technology to reveal the ancient structures all along the length. (Credit: Courtesy of Traci Ardren (University of Miami), System Sacbe Yacuna-They, and the Cultural Heritage of the Engineering Initiative)
Relentless, Maya warrior queen has ordered the construction of a wide road, for more than 1000 years ago, in order to connect to a distant town, and against the rising power of the other, archaeologists say.
They think that it is the king of the Mayan city of Cobá, Lady K awiil Ajaw, may be ordered by the road construction around A. D. 680, so that its armies could travel along it to take over control of the town of Yaxuná, about 60 miles (100 km) to the west, in what is now mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Lady K awiil Ajaw had one of the most powerful and aggressive rulers of ancient Cobá, and the carved stones of the monuments to see her standing over the prisoners, ” says an archaeologist, Theo Stanton of the University of California, Riverside.
“In view of the warlike character of its monuments,” and they may have been the ruler who extended the road to the control of Yaxuná, Stanton said.
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The road was elevated above the surrounding countryside, plastered with a plaster made of limestone, which in turn resulted in the name of “sacbe” — “white road” in Mayan. The Maya people built many of these roads, however, the sacbe between Cobá and Yaxuná was the tallest of them, and it would be a great investment in terms of time and resources, said Traci Ardren, an archaeologist at the University of Miami, florida.
“We have a tendency to interpret it as an activity which is kind of a declare, the power of a state, or at the very least, the group of the alliance of a number of of the the nature between the two economies,” Ardren said.
The old way
Stanton and Ardren result of the excavations of the ancient settlements along the road linking Cobá and Yaxuná. Most recently, they have used lidar, or light detection and ranging, to the investigation of the sacbe. Through the use of lidar, which bounces off of hundreds of laser pulses with the scenery, every second, the researchers were able to see among the dense jungle canopies. The amount of time it takes each laser pulse to return to the source, provides an estimate of the distance and reveal the topography of the surface. Lidar equipment is often used on small airplanes to create an accurate three-dimensional map of the landscape.
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In the 1930s, archaeologists from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D. C, and traveled the length of the road, and said that it was to be a straight line between Cobá and Yaxuná, Ardren, told Live Science.
However, the recent lidar surveys to show that the old way is not an absolute right, and in some places, around the curve to pass through, which would be in the smaller towns, ” she said. “The reason for the way it was, not just to get to Yaxuná and in control of Yaxuná, but also, and probably the control of these intermediate settlements,” she said.
Ardren, and Discussion have led to the expeditions to the tombs of a number of the homes of the Mayan families in Cobá and Yaxuná, and they’re going to have to return again this year to go to the beach with families on one of the smaller colony in the vicinity of the middle of the road.
They hope that archaeological research will reveal how life can be changed after the road was built, ” she said.
Cobá, the invasion may have been triggered by the growing power of yet another of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, about 15 miles (23 km) north-west of Yaxuná, Ardren explains.
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Archaeological evidence indicates that Cobá began to decline in power, after the reign of the’S’ awiil Ajaw, but it is Chichen Itza became more powerful in the centuries that followed, ” she said.
The invasion of the Yaxuná may have been an attempt at Cobá, a counter-balance to the growing power of the Chichen Itza ruins, the founding of a fortress in the heart of the Peninsula of Yucatan, ” she said.
“Cobá is a very traditional Maya town, in the form of a dynastic family, and that all power is centered in one place,” she said.
But Chichen Itza was in a different economic and political model, the more “connected” to other parts of central america, archaeological discoveries suggest, was connected with the most remote regions of Costa Rica and the American Southwest, ” she said.
“I think there will be a shift in the way in which power is expressed, and the dominant political ideology, in this part of the peninsula of Yucatan,” she said.
It is not known how long it took to build the road, or if it was built by a community of volunteers, who are among the questions that archaeologists hope to answer with evidence from future excavations.
“You can think of, at one end of Cobá and the forcing of people to take part in the construction of the will; or it can be something that a lot of the community were willing to take part in it,” Stanton said. “It’s really hard to get to know about it.”
Ardren, and Discussion to describe their lidar findings in the February issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
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Originally published on Live Science.