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April 29 2013

Ancient Maya civilization's roots deepen

Soaring pyramids, ceremonial platforms and ritual plazas, signatures of the ancient Maya, owe their origin to a broad cultural shift in Central America around 1,000 B.C., the ruins of Ceibal suggest.

The ancient Maya started building their storied cities amid a construction boom in Central America as early as 1000 B.C., archaeologists reported Thursday.

New radiocarbon date samples from the ruined plazas and pyramids of Ceibal, in modern-day Guatemala, point to an earlier spread in growth of ancient Maya city building than people had previously believed, suggests a team led by archaeologist Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona-Tucson.

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