Rio Azul: An Ancient Maya City by Richard E. W. Adams

By Richard E. W. Adams

Deep in the woodland in northern Guatemala lie the ruins of Río Azul, a Maya urban that reached one-third the dimensions of Tikal. came across and in part explored within the early Nineteen Sixties, Río Azul and the encircling quarter have been extra totally investigated among 1983 and 1987 via an archaeological staff led via Richard E. W. Adams. during this precis, Adams integrates the findings of box archaeologists with these of the epigraphers and artwork historians to recreate the lifetime of this Maya urban from the little-known Early vintage period.

Remains within the Río Azul quarter date from 900 B.C. to A.D. 850. the information point out that, in contrast to so much Maya towns which were studied, Río Azul used to be a frontier city, an place of work, with alternating safety and alternate outpost features. approximately A.D. 385, the Río Azul quarter was once conquered and the town based through Tikal, serving as a Teotihuacan-linked garrison for that capital. the vast majority of the greater than seven-hundred constructions chanced on inside of Río Azul have been erected among A.D. 390 and 530.

Acres of pavement have been laid down round a few thirty complexes of apartments, temples, and tombs striking for the brightly painted pink hieroglyphs and work of art on their partitions. the frilly complexes and luxurious artifacts recommend a urban with a heavy percentage of aristocratic households and retainers.

Around A.D. 530, Río Azul seems to be to were unexpectedly destroyed. the town was once deserted, then reoccupied--only to stagnate and eventually cave in, like many different vintage Maya towns, within the past due 9th century.


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The Devonian is known as one of the key time periods for plant evolution, and this dramatic expansion in the variety of plant life occurred over a period of about fifty million years—unfathomably long by our own perception but, geologically speaking, relatively brief. One of the most recognizable and graceful groups of plants existing today are the ferns. 28 Although they evolved after the club mosses and horsetails, fernlike fossils are present by the end of the Devonian (ca. 360 MYA). Among the evolved characteristics that helped ferns to be hugely successful were their leaves, which were broad and feathery, presenting a large surface area to the sun and thereby maximizing their ability to photosynthesize.

19 Within its network of passages, underground canals, chambers, and sumps lies the magnificent Belize Chamber. 20 The presence of artifacts within the accessible areas of the cave proves that the ancient Maya once used it as a source of water and as a sacred place for conducting rituals. The cave was rediscovered only as late as 1984, and since that time it has been the focus of numerous caving and scientific expeditions. Biologists, for example, have discovered the skeletons of extinct animals within it, including a species of vampire bat (Desmodus draculae) and a female cub of a species of bear (Tremarctos floridanus).

Represented by over thirty-one species in Belize, this is one of the defining tree groups of the Chiquibul Forest. With their jointed stems, spikelike inflorescence, and often peppery-smelling leaves, the Piperaceae are also an important component of the Chiquibul’s vegetation, although most species are shrubs or herbs. Some angiosperm plant groups started to appear in the fossil record only relatively recently in the Paleogene period (66–23 MYA). One good example is provided by the families belonging to the order Zingiberales.

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