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Ancient palace excavated in Oaxaca

A 2,300-year-old palace in Mexico’s Valley of Oaxaca has been excavated by a team of researchers from the American Museum of Natural History.

Remnants of a royal palace in southern Mexico, dating to between around 2,300 and 2,100 years ago, come from what must have been one of the Americas’ earliest large, centralized governments, researchers say.

Excavations completed in 2014 at El Palenque uncovered a palace with separate areas where a ruler conducted affairs of state and lived with his family, say archaeologists Elsa Redmond and Charles Spencer, both of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Only a ruler of a bureaucratic state could have directed construction of this all-purpose seat of power, the investigators conclude the week of March 27 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Story: Bruce Bower, Science News | Photo: E.M. Redmond and C.S. Spencer

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