The site in southern Puerto Rico may have belonged to the Taino or pre-Taino people that inhabited the island before European colonization, although other tribes are a possibility. It contains stones etched with ancient petroglyphs that form a large plaza measuring 130 feet by 160 feet, which could have been used for ball games or ceremonial rites, said Aida Belen Rivera, director of the Puerto Rican Historic Conservation office.
The petroglyphs include the carving of a human figure with masculine features and frog legs. Archaeologists also uncovered several graves with bodies buried face-down with the legs bent at the knees - a style never seen before in the region.
The plaza may contain other artifacts dating from 600 A.D. to 1500 A.D., including piles of refuse from daily life, Rivera said.
"I have visited many sites and have never seen a plaza of that magnitude and of those dimensions and with such elaborate petroglyphs," said Miguel Rodriguez, member of the government's archaeological council and director of a graduate school in Puerto Rico that specializes in history and humanities.
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