Archeologists uncover pre-Columbian village in Quintana Roo

The village belongs to the Postclassic period

Mexican archeologists uncover pre-Columbian village in Quintana Roo
The archeological site is located in Mahahual - Photo: Taken from INAH's website
English 28/04/2020 14:21 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 14:34
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Archeologists from Mexicos’ National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) uncovered a Mayan village in Mahahual, Quintana Roo that could date from the Maya Postclassic period (1200-1546 A.D.), the first of that time ever detected in that area of Yucatán.

The discovery was reported through a statement in which INAH informed that it took place during the first part of a study that comprehends an area that is 1.5 km long and 450 meters wide.

“So far, the settlement has the shape of a heterogeneous network, that is, a tissue constituted by residential lots that gave origin to a vast village that was highly organized,” said archeologist Fernando Cortés de Brasdefer, who also said that they will continue with their research to look for elite space or a ritual or religious center.

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The village was discovered in an area in Mahahual that was thought to be a stone wall, however, they are actually structures that define the lots inside of which were gardens and “small houses built over platforms made with limestone, with wooden structures and palm, similar to traditional houses made by contemporary Mayas.”

The visits made by the archeologists, requested by a private person who owns the area where a tourism development project is being planned, have revealed approximately 80 structures: residential vestiges, artificial pots to collect water, and natural wells that were drilled down to the water table.

The region where the village is located also has cenotes, caves, and caverns, as well as different elements that have been put over time, such as a metal heater from the Porfiriato.

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Another characteristic of Mahahual is that, during the first phase of the visits, no additional objects were found, such as ceramic remains or bones. This could be explained by arguing that the are was inhabited for a short time.

For now, the INAH researchers in Quintana Roo will go on with the research and will work on the conservation and protection of the recently discovered archeological heritage.

Fernando Cortés said that, although Mahahual is not a place with big ritual structures, it is important since it provides new data to know the extension of the pre-Columbian Maya settlements in the Yucatán peninsula.

“We know very little about the way of life of those who lived in this region, however, this exploration reveals that they could have been farmers that complemented their diet with fishing. Moreover, they direct access to the sea would have given them advantages to exchange commercial products with other coast and land settlements,” he asserted.

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