A University of Colorado Boulder-led team excavating a Maya village in El Salvador buried by a volcanic eruption 1,400 years ago has unexpectedly hit an ancient white road that appears to lead to and from the town, which was frozen in time by a blanket of ash.
The road, known as a “sacbe,” is roughly 6 feet across and is made from white volcanic ash from a previous eruption that was packed down and shored up along its edges by residents living there in roughly A.D. 600, said CU-Boulder Professor Payson Sheets, who discovered the buried village known as Ceren near the city of San Salvador in 1978. In Yucatan Maya, the word “sacbe” (SOCK’-bay) literally means “white way” or “white road” and is used to describe elevated ancient roads typically lined with stone and paved with white lime plaster and that sometimes connected temples, plazas and towns. Read more.
A team of scientists in El Salvador say they have discovered corn cobs, leftover logs, paths and ditches at an archaeological site in an incredibly well preserved state, after a violent volcanic eruption covered the area in about the year 630.
Led by the US anthropologist Payson Sheets, a team of students from the University of Colorado have been working at the Joya de Ceren site, north west of the capital San Salvador, for approximately three weeks.
Professor Sheets said that “there’s no archaeological site in the world that has preservation of organic materials this wonderful. It is not a site where the elite lived, they are only commoners, agriculturalists, they were artisans, they made a lot of things; pottery, vessels, grinding tools, their own houses.” Read more.