Ancient Mayan City Uncovered in Remote Jungle in Mexico
Archaeologists have discovered a complete Maya city in a remote jungle in Campeche, southeastern Mexico, first spotted in aerial images of a vast forested area previously only explored by loggers and rubber-tappers.
Campeche is a province in the western Yucatán peninsula which is home to many spectacular Mayan ruins, most within close proximity of each other. The ruins are constructed in the unique ‘Rio Bec’ style architecture which is characterized by the use of well-cut stone blocks covered with stucco and rounded corners.
The latest discovery is of an entire city spread over 54 acres and includes multiple pyramids, palaces, ball courts, plazas, homes, altars and painted stone slabs known as stele. It has been dated from roughly 600 to 900 AD, a period known as the Late Classic Maya period and marks the high point of Maya culture – powerful city-states dominated the regions around them and art, culture and religion reached their peaks. However, it is also not long before the civilization mysteriously collapsed, a fact that has perplexed historians to this day.
Archaeologist Ivan Sprajc, who led an international team of experts to study the Maya site, said: "It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in its extent and the magnitude of its buildings with Becan, Nadzcaan and El Palmar in Campeche".
Researchers hope that the newfound site, which has been named Chactún, will shed new light on its connection to other nearby Maya cities, and with each new discovery we make one step closer to unravelling the mysterious disappearance of the Mayans over a millennia ago.