Nearly 50 researchers from Mexico and the United States of America, as well as people from Tohono O’odham, Yaqui, Cocopah and Gila River indigenous communities participated in the XI Southwest Symposium in Hermosillo, Sonora, where historical continuity of the bi national region was be addressed.

The search of adequate conservation of Bonampak mural paintings, located in Chiapas, turned out into the discovery of a crypt under the second room of Templo de las Pinturas (Temple of the Paintings) with rests of a man accompanied with jadeite ornaments and ceramic objects that could be more than 1,300 years old.

To commemorate the finding in December 17th 1790 of the Sun Stone at the Main Square (Zocalo) of Mexico City, the most important Internet search engine, Google, will dedicate its logo this Thursday to the emblematic Mexica sculpture.

For the first time, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez will present the show Navidades en Mexico (Christmas in Mexico) at Castillo de Chapultepec esplanade from December 16th to 20th 2009, where syncretism between Catholic and Indigenous traditions will be represented.

Known among Guadalajara society as “Murillos”, the 11 canvas related to life of Saint Francis of Assisi, in permanent exhibition at Guadalajara Regional Museum, are being analyzed to verify if they are really part of the Sevillian Painting School or New Spain oil paintings attributed to Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) school.

A hundred objects and documents reunited for the first time in Puebla, related to the participation of this Mexican entity in the Independence movement, among them, an original print of Plan of Iguala, integrate the exhibition Memorias de libertad: imagenes y palabras de nuestra Independencia (Memoirs of Liberty: Images and Words of our Independence), open at the Regional Museum of Puebla.

Expedition 0° φ / 0° C (zero degrees latitude,  zero Celsius degrees), a Mexican project organized, among other institutions, by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered recently the highest point on the Earth’s equatorial line, which still does not appear in maps.

Nearly 40 virtual models of 31 historical Mexican buildings such as archaeological and Colonial monuments compete at the final phase of the contest Pon a Mexico en el mapa (Put Mexico on the Map), which looks forward to divulgate Mexican heritage internationally. Winners will be announced in January 31st 2010.

Twenty two years ago, Monte Alban, Oaxaca Archaeological Zone was declared World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As part of the commemorations, an agreement was signed by the archaeological zone and Universidad Autonoma “Benito Juarez” de Oaxaca (UABJO) that contemplates the participation of UABJO students in tasks carried on by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Chiapa de Corzo Archaeological Zone was inaugurated by Alfonso de Maria y Campos, National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) general director, and the governor of Chiapas State, Juan Sabines Guerrero, as part of the compromise acquired by the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, to open 10 new archaeological sites during his administration.

The Prehispanic site located 2 kilometers away from Grijalva River, in Chiapas, is one of the few Zoque Culture sites open to public in the country. The origin of this ceremonial and administrative center goes back 3,500 years, being a strategic point in commercial routes between the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

Alfonso de Maria y Campos recalled the presidential compromise of opening to public 10 archaeological zones; 3 of them are in the southeastern state. “Chiapas is, in this sense, the most benefited entity, since two more sites will be inaugurated in the next years: Plan de Ayutla and Lagartero”.

The INAH chief acknowledged and thanked Nestle Company for the donation of 6,500 square meters of terrain to consolidate the polygonal protection area, and announced that negotiations are being carried out to buy another hectare and a half from local owners.

The archaeological site will become a meeting place, reinforcing Chiapas identity; the cultural park enhances Mexican heritage and testifies to the transformation of Chiapas people.

Chiapa de Corzo Archaeological Zone is located 17 kilometers away from the capital of the state, Tuxtla Gurierrez. Admission is free during winter 2009-2010 holiday period, Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00 hours.


Zoque Seigniory

There are 3 main buildings at the zone, constructed during the apogee of the city, more than 1,000 years ago. Rulers resided in the constructions known as El Palacio or Structure 1; Structure 5 and Structure 7.

“They are the most representative examples of places where ritual and administrative activities took place, around 900 AD, when nearly 70,000 persons dwelled the nearby places”, archaeologist Adan Pacheco Benitez explained.

“Opening of the zone that ruled the broad region of Chiapas Central Depression, at the fertile Grijalva River bank, will help people give up on the idea of every Southeast Mexico archaeological site being Maya”, added the director of Chiapa de Corzo Archaeological Project.

The city was founded near 1,400 BC, having constant dwelling and development. “In different moments, Chiapa de Corzo maintained relations with Olmeca and Maya cultures. It sustained a strong relation with Olmeca groups near 850 and 450 AD, due to the closeness with San Lorenzo, La Venta and Izapa.

“The link with Maya people came after, from 400 BC, as ceramic material found in the site reveal. This relation was also close, adopting Zoque people the ceramic known as Maya Sierra Red Pottery and manufacturing it”.

Archaeologist Pacheco added that during 3 years of excavation and restoration, more than 60,000 fragments of ceramic material have been found, being analyzed half of them. These studies have determined the different occupations of the area. In 2008 human osseous rests were discovered, pertaining to a woman of approximately 40 years of age when she died. Antiquity has not been established yet.  

Regarding the city’s abandonment causes, hypothesis point out to changes in commercial routes or internal conflicts. “After the peak around 900 AD, came the desertion, but it was inhabited soon again by Zoques, but not as a sacred space.

“By the end of 1,400 AD, Zoques were expelled by Chiapa groups, although they remained in the site for a short period: in 1528 Spaniards arrived, commanded by Diego de Mazariegos. A myth tells that Chiapa people decided to throw themselves to Sumidero Canyon before being conquered”, concluded Pacheco Benitez.

 

Through careful analysis and the use of state-of-the-art technology, specialists from Mexico, Italy and the United States have determined how Mexica sculptures like Coyolxauhqui, Sun Stone and Tlaltecuhtli were painted originally, defining the chromatic palette used by Mexica artists in the late 15th century and early 16th.

Two constructive levels of the Great Base at Cacaxtla Archaeological Zone, in Tlaxcala, were uncovered during the recent field season conducted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) specialists. Architectural elements might date from the period of the Prehispanic city’s peak, between 600 and 950 AD.

Mexico was elected member of the first Scientific and Technical Advisory Body for the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage to bring counseling regarding research and protection of heritage located under marine and continental waters worldwide.