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Archæological Exploration in Oaxaca, Mexico

Nature volume 131, page 509 (08 April 1933) | Download Citation



RECENT reports received by Science Service. Washington, D.C., from Miss Emma Reh, who is engaged in archaeological exploration in Mexico, point to the possibility of further discoveries bearing on the problem of the position of Mixtec culture and the area now known as the province of Oaxaca as a connecting link between the Mayan culture to the south and Mexican culture to the north. It will be remembered that this was the problem on which S. Alfonso Caso was engaged at the time he discovered the treasure tomb of Monte Alban a year ago. Miss Reh has recently examined the sites of two ruined cities in the mountainous Mixteca area, Teposcolula and Hualmelulpan, situated eighteen miles apart, neither of which had previously been recorded on the official archaeological map of Mexico. Hualmelulpan was an important centre which once dominated the road from north to south. In the inner of two pyramids, built one over the other, Indians have found a number of sculptures and idols. Among them Miss Reh reports a sculptured slab which bears the date “Thirteen Stone Knife” in the Mayan numeral system, constituting an important link with the Mayan culture to the south. Among other material is a human figure more than six feet high carved from stone, which shows a snarling mouth armed with formidable fangs. This may be the ancient Mixtec deity Tepeyolotl, “Heart of the Mountains”, often represented as a tiger. Pottery heads found on the mounds and terraces range in series extending from ‘Mixtecan’ to ‘archaic’.

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