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El Mirador History
The archaeological site is located within the tropical rainforest approximately 330 kilometers north of Guatemala City and 7 kilometers south of the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in the province of Peten.
The place is 105 kilometers northwest of Tikal, within a tropical forest that spreads out around the site in a region of geological structure involving little undulating hills of calcareous rock mingled with shallows.
Despite this inhospitable environment, the place is one of the more remarkable in the Mayan World.
The urban area is spread over 10 and 15 square kilometers.
The temples are the most prominent temples never constructed by the ancient Mayans.
The center of the old city is divided into two groups (the group west and the Danta complex or group east), including the Acropolis, grand temples and, numerous terraces, domestic plazas, all connected and marked off by a system of walls and elevated causeways.
The first archeologists have known about the existence since 1930.
After the first description of Sylvanus Morley in 1937-1938, the place was visited later by Ruppert and Denison in an expedition of the Carnegie Institute.
However, the significant early explorations were the Ian Graham of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University in the period from 1962 to 1970.
These expeditions were made out of place recognition.
They measured structures, took superficial collections, created exploratory wells, and produced the place’s first map.
Graham’s work reveals the problems that the site would cause for Mayan archeology for the first time.
The location is far from the nuclear zone in the northeast of the Peten, where it was thought that Mayan civilization had occurred.
Instead, this place, always overlooked in the interpretations of the evolution of the Mayan culture, using the early explorations of the Peabody Museum, was revealed as one of the more major Mayan sites and with the most prominent temples of the whole Mayan zone.
However, structures lack the typical characteristics of the architecture of the Mayans of the classic.
There are no molded-in vault shelves.
The construction has an atypical style.
Pyramids are too big and extended; the close-fitting monuments, stelae, and altars are exceptionally few despite the giant-sized ceremonial zone.
The excavations of wells by Joyce Marcus during an expedition of the Peabody Museum in 1970 increased the mystery.
More of the 90 % were monochrome of the pre-classic.
Nevertheless, the doubts put forward by the expeditions of the Peabody Museum, a destiny to 1978 that started up, was not the archeological studies of the extensive remains.
Meanwhile, the specialists of the Mayan culture continued interpreting the development of Mayan civilization based on the findings in the highlands, Belize, and a few sites in the Peten (Tikal, Uaxactún, Ceibal, and Altar de Los Sacrificios).
However, in 1978, Bruce Dahlin, a project sponsored by the Catholic University and the Natural Science Foundation to explore shallows and causeways lifted around the place in short of defining the environment and the base of subsistence.
Surprisingly they did not find any evidence that shallows were used for intensive farming with chinampas.
In fact, the population’s subsistence base in this ancient city, even now, remains an enigma.
Dahlin’s explorations and the Peabody Museum have developed a dedicated system of elevated causeways that spread out through the shallows and swamps surrounding the place.
Too few bordering sites, like Nakbe and Tintal, placed 20 kilometers from the site. It seems that a region supported the dense population of the lookout.
1979 to 1982.
A project coordinated, by Ray Matheny, of Brigham Young University and Bruce Dahlin, of the Catholic University (sponsored by the New World Archaeological Foundation, The National Science Foundation, and The National Geographic Society) began with the line of a map and excavations in the ceremonial zone.
This project document immensity and the density of the center and puts forward new questions and problems about the chronology of the evolution of the Mayan civilization.
The excavations of the Brigham Young University inside the ceremonial structures recovered monochrome pre-typical potter’s ware mostly.
In an evaluation of the ceramics obtained by Elizabeth Chambers in her excavations of the earthen works of the group west, executed project date these works (possibly used for the defense) as the pre-classic late.
These preliminary indications evoked many questions about the opinions accepted on the development of Mayan civilization.
The Mayan Blossom
It is believed the Mayan culture had come to blossom in the classic, of 300 d.c to 900 D. C. The pre-classic, from 1500 A.C. To 300 D.C.
They had considered themselves like a period of gradual increases in the population and gained the complexity of the society.
It culminated in the first significant constructions made by crowdsourcing, like the modest pre-typical temples of the northeast of Peten.
While the small early chieftainships received stimuli of the most advanced cultures of the late pre-classic in the highlands (for instance, Kaminal Juyu and Chalchuapa).
However, the pilot studies in the site indicate that the giant-sized ceremonial architecture and the population proto-urban can have caught up within an early date in the late pre-classic, centuries before what was imagined.