Sites & cities that bear the name of Guayabo


Today in : Colombia
First trace of activity : ca. 11th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 15th century C.E
Recorded names : Monumento Nacional Guayabo, Guayabo National Monument, Guayabo de Turrialba

Description : Guayabo National Monument (Spanish: Monumento Nacional Guayabo), is an archaeological site near the city of Turrialba, within the Central Conservation Area in the Cartago Province, Costa Rica. It is almost directly in the center of the country on the Southern slope of the Turrialba Volcano. The National Monument covers about 2.3 square kilometres (0.89 sq mi) and is surrounded by rainforest plant vegetation causing it to be extremely vibrant green due to high precipitation and rich soils. Only a small portion of it has been unearthed, excavated, and studied. Guayabo de Turrialba seems to have been a locus of social power in the wake of this período de integración. It was initially populated beginning in about 1000 BCE, in the time of Israel’s King David, and then abandoned in 1400 CE, a century before the Spanish arrived, for reasons that remain a mystery. Researchers still to this day have not found any sign of why people might have left. Although, there is speculation that it might have had to do with something like disease or rival civilizations. It has been estimated that there were about 10,000 people who were residents. Believed to be the home of the Pre-Columbian people, this relic site was first discovered in the 1800s and was first excavated in the year of 1882. What has been found and what the site consists of is the city's infrastructure, petroglyphs, tombs, and artifacts that were left behind and found by archaeologists in the 1960s during further excavations. To be more specific, the magnitude of the known part of the site, presumed to be its central portion, consists of 43 stone foundations, three aqueducts, two major roadways, dozens of smaller paths, and some stone tombs. The people of Guayabo were known to be well aware of good engineering, which can be assumed by their use of aqueducts. Most of the site consists of the circular mounds that the conical wooden structures were once built on. Side note; the villagers used to live in huge communal-like conical houses with thatched roofs with most, if not all, of their family members. One mound in particular, Mound 1, stands out as it is the largest one of this culture and it is located in the center of the village. To its front runs a paved road which connected the surrounding settlements, with it as far as 9km. That is considered the most impressive finding at the site. Architecturally, back in the day, the main building probably served as both a symbol as well as a place to conduct public business. After ascending the stairs next to the center mound, visitors would have been greeted by a matching pair of structures, rectangular in shape. These were probably guardhouses that flank the road at this point and would have controlled access to the settlement. A lot of the artifacts found when excavating, such as the stones and petroglyphs, represented animals such as jaguars and lizards. There were tools that were found that suggested that Guayabo had people dedicated to growing agriculture which mainly consisted of roots such as yucca. Studies have shown that the people of Guayabo did most of their own work although there is some data suggesting slavery may have been practiced.

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