Archaeologists have discovered an approximately 2,000-year-old Mayan pot in a cave in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced the discovery in a statement Tuesday, saying that the 13-centimeter-high “chocolatier style” pot had been dated to the late pre-classic period of 300 B.C. to 250 A.D.
INAH archaeologists José Antonio Reyes Solís and Enrique Terrones González visited a cave on a Playa del Carmen property owned by a religious association after receiving a report on it from biologist and speleologist Roberto Rojo.
Reyes said they found the pot near the eastern wall of the Cueva de la Cruz (Cave of the Cross), where the ceramic relic was partially submerged in sediment. Despite its age, the pot is completely intact, he said.
The ancient vessel was photographed in situ before it was removed using a “meticulous process,” INAH said, noting that it was passed along a human chain to ensure it wasn’t damaged. The relic was subsequently transferred to the Mayan Museum of Cancún, where it was closely inspected and measured. The body of the pot, which has no handles, has a diameter of 16 centimeters while its mouth, or opening, is slightly wider at 17 cm.
Reyes noted that the exterior of the pot is reddish in color while the inside is black. “It’s partially covered by calcium carbonate, which is characteristic of materials recovered in caves,” he said. Reyes added that there is an image of a plant similar to a squash on the pot.
Margarito Molina Rendón, director of INAH’s Quintana Roo office, said the recovery of any ancient relic, “from a pottery fragment to a complete pot, is of great importance for INAH.”
The pot found in the cave will be studied to learn more about the Mayan people who were alive at the time when it was made.
Archaeologists plan to return to the Cueva de la Cruz during the dry season to search for other artifacts, as the cave tends to fill up with water during the rainy season.
Mexico News Daily