Scientists conclude that the massive Maya pyramid was found in El Salvador called Campana is the ancient equivalent of a modern disaster shelter, except this was in ancient times. The discovery shows how the ancients were aware of their chaotic world and sought to protect their populations.
The Maya built the pyramid after they experienced the volcanic explosion that reduced world temperatures, adversely affecting their civilization.
In 539 A.D., the 'Tierra Blanca Joven' eruption of Ilopango volcano was the largest, which is now a caldera in a lake. It is the most powerful volcanic event in South American in 10,000 years.
Most powerful eruption of Ilopango volcano
One indication the Ilopango is impressive is that the release of volcanic material into the air was 20 cubic miles. After the tephra or pyroclastic material fell, it covered the ground with 1.6 feet of it, reported the Daily Mail.
One of the scientists from the Colorado Boulder University, Archaeologist Akira Ichikawa, studied the Campana pyramid located at San Andres, Zapotitán valley about 25 miles from Ilopango, noted Phys Org.
Analysis of the ancient pyramid had revealed that it used bits of volcanic rock or tephra, about five to thirty years after the catastrophic event, to be complete about 80 years in all.
For the Maya's it must have been traumatic how the eruption caused so many changes. The pyramid was devised for such a purpose by their engineers to be proactive and built the massive Maya pyramid found in El Salvador.
Mayans relocating and return to former lands
For sure, when Tierra Blanca Joven blew its top, said Ichikawa, the Mayans had to leave their homes and wait until it was safe to return.
The pyramids' age's finding indicates that it began shortly after Mayans would return to the San Andrés site. They rebuilt it to be center in the valley, with the pyramid as a priority to finish.
When measured, the Mayan pyramid has a height of 43 feet tall, built over a platform that is 23 feet tall. The structure's volume has been measured to be 1,165,384 cubic feet, which is considered one of the biggest when built.
Mayan buildings would have a religious function attached to them, like the Campana pyramid, double-up as a social hall. Construction of the structure was a massive undertaking that had those who lived through the volcanic disaster and new people to the area finish it.
Mayan rulers used the pyramid to shelter if the volcano erupted again and show status and power as rulers in ancient Mesoamerica.
Studies show it was not just the La Campana. Still, in 620 A.D., a second volcanic eruption of the Loma Caldera, about 3.7 miles away, drove other pyramids' construction in the northern part of San Andres. He added the smaller but more complex Acropolis in the same pyramid area was constructed after the Loma Calder eruption.
The massive Maya pyramid found in El Salvador, called Campana, is a disaster shelter reacting to the environment, noted Ichikawa in the journal Antiquity.