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30 July 2011
2,800-year-old decorated stone discovered in Mexico

Mexican archaeologists have discovered a 1.5 ton stone relief from the Olmec culture created more than 2,800 years ago, the National Institute of Archaeology and History, or INAH, said in an official statement. The discovery was made at the archaeological site of Chalcatzingo in the Valley of Morelos, in the southern portion of the Central Highlands of Mexico.
     The work - standing more than 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall - was discovered in late April on the north slope of Chalcatzingo as archaeologists were building a containing wall and protective roofs for the other monoliths in the area. Sculpted on the stone are three cats sitting in profile, looking west and surrounded by great scroll decorations. The relief was found broken in 11 pieces, which the experts spent May and June restoring, so that only now is it possible "to admire the triad of felines in their entirety," INAH said.
     Since the first explorations there in the 1930s, some 41 monuments have been discovered in Chalcatzingo up to now, four of which have cat figures, animals feared and venerated by the Olmecs, who inhabited the area between the years 800-500 BCE, a period known as the Middle Pre-Classical.

Edited fron Latin American Herald Tribune (28 July 2011)

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