Discoveries by Mexican and Spanish archaeologists have revealed the previously unknown extent of the pre-Columbian city of X’baatún in the state of Yucatán.
Spanish archaeologist Carmen Varela Torrecilla, professor at the Universidad Europea del Atlántico in Santander, told the news agency Efe that the excavations revealed an important Mayan city whose splendor lasted over a thousand years.
“With the recent excavations, we discovered new structures and ceramic fragments ranging from the period 500 to 300 B.C. to A.D. 900 to 1000,” she said.
Varela is working with Juan García Targa of the University of Barcelona and Alfonso Muñoz Cosme of the Madrid Polytechnic University, as well as researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
“Doctor García Targa will come to Yucatán next October to continue the first and second phase of the plan,” she said. “We’ll do new excavations, and next January all of us will meet in X’baatún.”
The archaeologists believe that X’baatún, which is located in the Oxhuatz tourism park, was a satellite of the major Mayan city of Izamal.
“We want to return the X’baatún archaeological site to splendor,” said Varela. “We want the inhabitants of the municipality of Tekal de Venegas to feel pride and identity through eco-tourism.”
So far, the excavations have revealed a 37-foot-high pyramid, a ball court, a cenote and several other structures. According to Varela, the pyramid is relatively tall with a narrow base, which is not characteristic of pyramids found in other places.
The archaeologists also hope that the new discoveries will help the site get proper protection.
“The pre-Columbian treasure in the Oxhuatz park is being looted,” said Varela. “And there are other problems: cows from a nearby ranch come to drink water from the cenote, and they destroy the structures.”
Varela added that she is asking the government of Yucatán to provide better protection.
Source: El Universal (sp)