Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rewriting History With Temple Chambers, Fortresses and 8,000-Year-Old Ruins

Every once in a while, new discoveries either rewrite historical orthodoxy, or confirm stories previously thought to be made-up.

Here are three recent examples.

In what could turn out to be a major discovery, researchers have found a wall-like structure, which is 24km long, 2.7m in height, and around 2.5m in width. The structure shows uniformity in construction. “The structure is not continuous from Shrivardhan to Raigad, but it is uniform. It has been found 3m below the present sea level. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it is obvious that the structure is man-made,” said Dr Ashok Marathe, department of archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.
2. A sealed tunnel underneath a temple in Teotihuacan (in modern-day Mexico).
"At the end, there are several chambers which could hold the remains of the rulers of that Mesoamerican civilization. If confirmed, it will be one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 21st century on a global scale," Gomez Chavez said late Thursday. 
Teotihuacan, with its huge pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, its palaces, temples, homes, workshops, markets and avenues, is the largest pre-Hispanic city in Mesoamerica. It reached its zenith in the years 300-600 AD.
3. The fortresses of people who may have fought the Incas (right before their conquest by the Spanish).
The discoveries suggest that there is a ring of truth to stories that Spanish chroniclers told when they penetrated into South America during the 16th and 17th centuries. 
According to these stories, Incan ruler Huayna Capac sought to conquer the Cayambe. Using a "very powerful army," he was hoping for a quick victory but ended up getting entangled in a 17-year struggle. 
"Finding that their forces were not sufficient to face the Inca on an open battlefield, the Cayambes withdrew and made strongholds in a very large fortress that they had," wrote Spanish missionary Bernabe Cobo in the 17th century in his book "History of the Inca Empire" (University of Texas Press, 1983). A translation, by Roland Hamilton, was published in 1983 by the University of Texas Press. "The Inca ordered his men to lay siege to it and bombard it continuously; but the men inside resisted so bravely that they forced the Inca to raise the siege because he had lost so many men."
Who knows what we'll find next?

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