Massive 1,100+ year old Maya site discovered in Georgia’s mountains

, Architecture & Design Examiner

December 21, 2011 - Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.
Archaeological zone 9UN367 at Track Rock Gap, nearGeorgia’s highest mountain, Brasstown Bald, is a half mile (800 m) square and rises 700 feet (213 m) in elevation up a steep mountainside.  Visible are at least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system and ruins of several other stone structures. Much more may be hidden underground.  It is possibly the site of the fabled city of Yupaha, which Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto failed to find in 1540, and certainly one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent times. 

BLAIRSVILLE, GA (December 21, 2011) — Around the year 800 AD the flourishing Maya civilization of Central America suddenly began a rapid collapse. A series of catastrophic volcanic eruptions were followed by two long periods of extreme drought conditions and unending wars between city states.

Cities and agricultural villages in the fertile, abundantly watered, Maya Highlands were the first to be abandoned.  Here, for 16 centuries, Itza Maya farmers produced an abundance of food on mountainside terraces.  Their agricultural surpluses made possible the rise of great cities in the Maya Lowlands and Yucatan Peninsula. When the combination of volcanic eruptions, wars and drought erased the abundance of food, famines struck the densely populated Maya Lowlands. Within a century, most of the cities were abandoned.   However, some of the cities in the far north were taken over by the Itza Maya and thrived for two more centuries.