They were endowed with intelligence, they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world…And they contemplated in turn the arc of heaven and the round face of the earth."
[Popol Vuh, III, Ch. 2]
Welcome to the official page of the ARX Project.
We are a group of researchers from different academic fields and nationalities, linked by a common passion for ancient Mesoamerica and the great civilizations that flourished in what is today Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
We conduct and sponsor expeditions in remote areas of Mexico and Central America in search of the origins of Mesoamerican civilization.
The ARX Project was launched in 2020 with the goal to provide a multidisciplinary approach to the study of our ancient past. We work in partnership with governmental and non-governmental institutions to advance our knowledge of human prehistory and the origins of civilization.
Our expeditions are conducted in the utmost respect of the place, using non-invasive exploration and investigation techniques like LiDAR, satellite imagery and ground penetrating radar.
Each one of our projects is aimed at understanding different aspects of the complex cultural influences that shaped the civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica.
We constantly welcome new Team members to join in and collaborate on our projects and expeditions. Please, send us your CV or a short personal profile and we will be in touch.
Lost cities of the Mexican highlands
MISSION AND VISION
The question of the origin of Mesoamerican civilization is one that has intrigued generations of archaeologists, culture historians and anthropologists. The Olmecs, which flourished between 2,500 and 400 BC, have been long considered the earliest major civilization of Mesoamerica, expressing one of the first widespread artistic and cultural traditions in parts of what is today Mexico and Guatemala.
Since the early 1990’s, however, a new hypothesis has emerged that Mesoamerican civilization did not arise in isolation, but as part of a complex network of regional trade interactions that favored cultural exchange and the diffusion of similar artistic styles as well as pottery, stone and metalworking techniques across a wide area between western Mexico, Central and South America.
These contacts certainly took advantage of the extensive river network of ancient Mexico and Guatemala, particularly along the Balsas and Usumacinta rivers, where some of the earliest centers of Mesoamerican civilization outside of the Gulf coast of Mexico may be found.
By taking a Pan-American view of the development of civilization in the Americas, our mission is to document the complex mosaic of cultural influences that shaped the formative and classic period of Mesoamerican civilization.
Our methods combine traditional exploration with the use of the latest technologies in aerial and satellite imaging to help unravel the great puzzle of Mesoamerican origins, mapping and documenting the trade corridors and original centers of civilization of the Americas.
Our Team consists of experts from different disciplines including archaeologists, geophysicists, speleologists, architects, engineers, photographers and digital artists.
Marco M. Vigato
Born in Italy and living in Mexico City, Marco has studied at Harvard and Milan’s Bocconi University. He has been researching ancient civilizations as an independent researcher for the past 15 years. He is an expert on ancient Mesoamerica, as well as a regular contributor to the Ancient Origins online magazine and to various other print and on-line journals and podcasts.
ARTICLES AND NEWS
In this section we will be publishing updates from our projects and important news relevant to our fields of study and ancient Mesoamerica.
November 30, 2020
The Lost City of the Eagle
Perched on top of nearly vertical cliffs in the Mexican state of Puebla lie the ruins of a lost city of cyclopean stone platforms and pyramids, with mysterious hieroglyphs and sculptures that may date to the time of the Olmecs.
November 22, 2020
Mitla: Mexico's real Temple of Doom
Under the village of Mitla, Oaxaca, famous for its magnificent decorated palaces, lies a labyrinth of underground chambers and tombs still awaiting exploration, which the ancients believed was the entrance to the Underworld.
Sierra de Huautla
November 17, 2020
Tamoanchan - Cradle of Mesoamerican Civilization?
The Sierra of Huautla, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, may old the keys to origins of Mesoamerican civilization and the remains of an unknown megalithic culture.