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Archeology Headlines: October 2010

From taking advantage of a rare chance to excavate a protected tomb to finding out how the Mayans ran their military, information regarding these archeological milestones have appeared in headlines for October 2010. In this article, you will also learn what has been found in Peru.

Incan Funerary Complexes

This month, the details of two Incan funerary complex discoveries have hit the headlines , found by Peruvian archaeologists in the outskirts of Cusco. The archeologists were greeted by clay floors, streets, plazas, houses, and terraced fields dating back to pre-Hispanic times , a period where the Incas ruled over the majority of western South America. Some of the construction at the site found is thought to have come from a pre-Inca Killke culture.

The funerary complexes stretch across 25 acres of land in an archaeological zone called Qhataqasapatallaqta, which is located in the outskirts of the district of Santiago. Other objects, as well as human remains, were also uncovered during the excavations. Since the sites are situated in the middle of populated areas, archeologists are stressing the importance of protecting the complexes.

What Will Be Found in the Maghera Tomb?

What can be learned from a burial site dating back 5,000 years? That’s what archeologists in Northern Ireland are asking themselves. A portal tomb has been found and they are preparing to dig it out , a feat that will take place for the first time in 50 years. All of these future plans were made possible when Tirnony Dolmen near Maghera collapsed and archeologists were presented with the opportunity to see what resided beneath the ground. They will also be able to tell how old the site is.

Portal tombs in Northern Ireland are typically off limits to excavators and are preserved instead. They are some of the oldest structures constructed in this part of the country. However, when a large capstone of the portal tomb fell to the ground, archeologists were given the OK to investigate before repairs would be carried out.  The estimated age of Tirnony Dolmen is between 5,000 and 6,000 years old. The past weather has taken its toll on the stones holding the structure of the tomb together, which is why cracks have caused the capstone to slip.
 
When the tomb was first built, it was used to inter the bones of selected members of the Stone Age community. Archeologists do not know what they will find in the tomb, but it will certainly answer many questions, such as who was placed in the tomb for burial. Hopefully, pottery and flint tools (which have been found in similar structures) will also be found.

Unlocking the Secrets of Mayan Military Ways

Details regarding the Mayan military have been uncovered during an iconographic analysis of different Mayan murals created during pre-Hispanic times (600 to 1000). This has allowed researchers to learn more about how they commanded their military and armed their warriors.

Some of the findings have concluded that the Mayans used weapons, such as the axe to give deadly blows, a curved stick that worked as a club, and a dart thrower that could attack enemies who were located up to 100 meters away. To protect their bodies, a cotton breastplate that had been hardened with salt was used, as well as shields made out of wood.