2,500-year-old altar found in Mexico

2,500-year-old altar found in Mexico

A altar and a stele dating from approximately the year 800 BC were found in the archaeological site of Chalcatzingo in the central state of Morelos, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Altar found in Mexico

The altar is rectangular and is covered by engravings representing rain. A few meters from the altar was an unfinished stele that has 1'7 meters high.

It is thought that the pieces could have been made between the years 800 and 500 BC, the same years that another altar and a relief with three cats that archaeologists from the Morelos Center of the INAH found in Chalcatzingo less than a year ago.

The latest discoveries come from excavations of a residential area which seems to date from the end of the Classic Period of the Olmec culture, between the years 700-900 ADsays archaeologist Carolina Meza.

Funeral cists

It says that the age difference between the new pieces and their surroundings can be explained by the Olmec practice from reuse and, in some cases, dismantlearchitectural elements.

The altar and stele from the Preclassic Period could have been buried inside buildings to strip them of their original meaning in Olmec rites, he says.

The latest findings raise to 44 the number of altars, stelae and reliefs discovered in Chalcatzingo, says the INAH.

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