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Topic: Oldest and largest ancient Maya structure found in Mexico
Scientists using an aerial remote-sensing method have discovered the largest and oldest-known structure built by the ancient Maya civilization — a colossal rectangular elevated platform built between 1,000 and 800 BC in Mexico’s Tabasco state.
The structure, unlike the soaring Maya pyramids at cities like Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico erected some 1,500 years later, was not built of stone but rather of clay and earth, and likely was used for mass rituals, researchers said on June 3.
Located at a site called Aguada Fenix near the Guatemalan border, the structure measured nearly 400m wide and 1,400m long and stood 10m to 15m high. In total volume, it exceeded ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza built 1,500 years earlier.
There were no signs of sculptures depicting high-status individuals, suggesting Maya culture at this early stage was more communal and only later developed social inequality and a hierarchical society led by royalty, the researchers said. “Because it is so large horizontally, if you walk on it, it just looks like natural landscape,” said University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata, who led the research published in the journal Nature. “But its form comes out nicely in lidar.”
Lidar, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote-sensing technique that employs a pulsed laser and other data obtained flying over a site to generate three-dimensional information about the shape of surface characteristics. Nine large causeways and a series of reservoirs were linked to the structure. Some parts of the rural Aguada Fenix site today are covered with cattle ranches. Other parts are wooded.
“It is probable that many people from surrounding areas gathered for special occasions, possibly tied to calendrical cycles,” Inomata said. “The rituals probably involved processions along the causeways and within the rectangular plaza. The people also deposited symbolic objects such as jade axes in the center of the plateau.”
Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/06/21/2003738560
Topic: Doggy ice cream has tails wagging in Mexico City
Dogs with a sweet tooth can finally satisfy their ice cream cravings - at the Don Paletto parlor in Mexico City.
Owners can satisfy their pets’ sweet cravings at the shop in the Mexican capital, which offers a variety of frozen cone and lollipop treats especially made for the animals.
Made of natural yogurt and lactobacilli bacteria, it can help digestion while normal ice cream can cause pain and diarrhea in dogs, according to shop owner Mauricio Montoya, who said the food is also safe for humans.
Flavors such as "Gentleman" and "Lucky Lucky" are advertised on the shop’s board, where the pets lick the treats off a stick, a cone or out of a bowl.
"To eat the same food every day must be pretty boring for them," customer Liliana said, holding an ice cream lollipop for her dog. "I come (here) to pamper him a bit."
Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1094368&day=2017-04-15
Topic: Near Mexico City, Cable Car Lets Commuters Glide Over Traffic
Coasting above Mexico City’s infernal congestion is normally a prerogative of the well-heeled, who take helicopters or pay to use the upper deck of two-tier highways to avoid the chaos below.
In October, however, thousands of residents of this ragged industrial suburb began getting to work or school in brightly colored pods that glide along the city’s first commuter cable-car route.
The Mexicable, a seven-stop line that runs just over three miles through a furrow of poor hillside neighborhoods, is part of a growing constellation of cable cars around Latin America that links marginalized communities to their cities’ metropolitan hearts.
In Ecatepec, the largest and most dangerous municipality in the 21 million-strong expanse of greater Mexico City, the Mexicable has brought new visitors, shorter commutes, a burst of street art and a new sense of inclusion in city life, residents said.
“It’s great,” said Marco Antonio Gonzalez, who used to spend an hour in a cramped bus to get from his home in San Andres de la Canada, the Mexicable’s final stop, to his job at a warehouse in the center of Ecatepec. He now has a smooth, 17-minute cable ride over dun-colored rooftops, half-bald soccer pitches and narrow streets strung with glittery bunting.
The new transport system has made him proud. “People never build something as impressive as this in a neighborhood like ours,” he said.
Ecatepec stretches north from the tip of the capital’s subway network into steep hills where square cinder-block houses are stacked like Lego pieces. Many who use the cable car also catch a bus and then a subway to reach jobs — at restaurants, homes, offices or construction sites — in more affluent parts of town.
Nancy Montoya, a housekeeper who lives in Esperanza, near the sixth Mexicable stop, said she saved about two hours per day using the new system — time she spends doing homework with her children or buying groceries.
Over the past 12 years, gondola systems have been built in cities that include Cali and Medellin in Colombia; Caracas, Venezuela; La Paz, Bolivia; and Rio de Janeiro. There are plans to build systems in half a dozen other Latin American cities, according to the Gondola Project, which tracks cable car programs worldwide.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/309111/web/