Mexican monolith could change history

3,000-year-old carvings contain ‘new symbols in Mesoamerica’

MEXICO CITY – A carved monolith unearthed in Mexico may show that the Olmec civilization, one of the oldest in the Americas, was more widespread than thought or that another culture thrived alongside it 3,000 years ago.

Findings at the newly excavated Tamtoc archaeological site in the north-central state of San Luis Potosi may prompt scholars to rethink a view of Mesoamerican history that holds its earliest peoples were based in the south of Mexico.

“It is a very relevant indicator of an Olmec penetration far to the north, or of the presence of a new group co-existing with the Olmecs,” said archaeologist Guillermo Ahuja, who led a government team excavating the site for the past five years.

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