A Maya pyramid in what is today El Salvador was built in the wake of a giant, climate-cooling volcanic explosion to ‘guard against future eruptions’, a study has found.
The AD 539 ‘Tierra Blanca Joven‘ eruption of the Ilopango volcano — today a crater lake — was the largest in Central America in the last 10,000 years.
It is thought to have released some 20 cubic miles of of volcanic material, or ‘tephra’, into the air, coating the surrounding area in deposits some 1.6 feet thick.
Archaeologist Akira Ichikawa of the University of Colorado Boulder studied the Campana pyramid at San Andrés, in the Zapotitán valley, 25 miles from Ilopango.
His analysis revealed that the structure was built out of tephra from the eruption just…