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New archaeological finds reveal a 1500-year-old Mayan palace around the proposed Maya Train Railroad

Archaeologists have discovered palatial findings of the Maya ruler, south of Mérida in Mexico that shed light on the migration and occupation of the Maya community.

New archaeological finds reveal a 1500-year-old Mayan palace around the proposed Maya Train Railroad
Cover Image Source: Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

Not all of history is known to mankind and the many mysteries of this land continue to come up in surprising new ways. Adding another chapter to our history, a recent finding by the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) revealed the remains of two buildings assumed to be of residential use. The findings came as a surprise during the preparation of Mexico’s Maya Train railroad which is expected to run across the 930-mile stretch of the Yucatán Peninsula. 

Image Source: Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History
Image Source: Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

The ruins were found in a pre-Hispanic settlement area, identified as the archaeological zone of Kabah, south of the city of Mérida. What stood out about the findings was a palace-type structure with a front porch consisting of eight pilasters and alternate openings. The Petenero Palace’s stone ruins are over 85 feet long and decked up with carvings of feathers, beads and birds. It also comprises of a staircase with remnants of a stucco figurehead measuring up to nine meters. For the longest time, the newly discovered palace was concealed by foliage, which has now been cleared off. The lack of a roof on its portico reveals that it might have previously been covered by palm leaves. Additionally, the site of the findings already possessed another palace among several other structures.


 
 
 
 
 
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As reported by My Modern Met, some of the characteristics of the findings are similar to those found in the Petén Department of Guatemala. According to researchers, this resemblance points to the population of the palace which migrated from Petén, in modern-day Guatemala and Belize. The conjecture is that the city was probably built between 250 and 500 CE. It also sheds light on the research of the migration and occupation of the Maya community through Central America for more than 3000 years. 


 
 
 
 
 
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The site of Kabah already has in place several structures such as palaces and temples which were erected as a dedication to Chaac, the Maya god of rain. INAH also shared that the many artifacts and ruins found in Kabah date back to at least 400 B.C., making it an interesting place to take a trip down the history of Mexico. INAH has also revealed, “As of this September 7, 2023, the general archaeological rescue work of the Mayan Train has allowed the registration and preservation of  55,132 real estate properties; 1,249,777 ceramic fragments and 1,925 complete furniture items or those that have been restored; 1,339 archaeological pieces in the process of restoration; 647 bones and 2,252 natural features associated with the landscape and human activity.” On September 2, 2023, the INAH head announced, “The site will soon be open for public visits and will allow national and international tourism to discover a primeval enclave of this archaeological site.”

For those interested in the history of the Maya civilization, The Petenero Palace makes for a fascinating addition to visit and further understand the ancient Maya community’s living.

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