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Ancient Mayan city discovered in Mexico

Posted: Friday, June 23, 2023. 1:18 pm CST.

By Celeste Chang: On June 20, 2023 a team of archaeologists in Mexico discovered the remains of an ancient Mayan city deep in the jungle of the Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico, ABC News reports.

A team of researchers led by Archaeologist Ivan Sprajc, hiked through about 60 km of thick vegetation, to make this grand discovery in the Balamku ecological reserve in the Mexican state of Campeche.

A photo taken from the site shows a fraction of an engraved stone which was discovered by archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. The site, which was believed to be of central importance for its past inhabitants, covers more than 50 hectares. Multiple “cylindrical columns” were found dispersed all around the pre-Hispanic ancient settlement and are believed to be part of entrances to upper rooms of the buildings.

“The biggest surprise to turned out to be the site located on a ‘peninsula’ on high ground, surrounded by extensive wetlands. Its monumental nucleus covers more than 50 hectares and has various large buildings, including several pyramidal structures over 15 meters high,” researchers said.

It is believed that the site would have been the core of the Central Lowlands during that period dating back between A.D. 250 and A.D. 1000. Researchers said that aerial laser mapping technology from the University of Houston’s Center for Airborne Laser Mapping helped in the researchers’ efforts of scanning the area. 

The most common ceramic types that was collected on the surface and in some test pits are from the “Late classic”(600-800 AD); but  the analysis of the samples of the materials will offer them a more reliable data on the succession of habitation.

Researchers named the site of the discovery Ocomtún, which means “stone column” in the Mayan language.

It’s believed that Ancient Mayan civilization, the most advanced civilization in the Americas, is said to have lived in an area more or less the size of Texas all across what is now known as Southern Mexico and northern Central America.

In addition the team also found almost identical structures which were investigated in an area extending to the La Rigueña River. It is believed that there is a possibility that they are spaces intended for markets or spaces destined for community rituals. Only future research will allow them to know the functions of these groups, which represent a regional peculiarity.


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