1,000-year-old skeletons discovered near Chichén Itzá

1,000-year-old skeletons discovered near Chichén Itzá

Twenty kilometers from the archaeological site of Chichen Itza (Yucatán), in the Mayan site from Xtojil, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered ten skeletons, most of them placed in cists (individual funerary megalithic monuments) more than 1000 years ago, possibly between 600 and 800 AD, when the prehispanic city it had not yet become the center of government for the north of the peninsula.

These remains, along with others that have been found over the years in the region, have allowed specialists to confirm that more than 1200 years ago there was a scattered population in nearby settlements, usually around cenotes (water sinks in Yucatan), which would later become Chichen Itza as the capital that ruled the area.

Under the coordination of researchers José Osorio León and Francisco Pérez Ruiz, of the INAH of Yucatán and the collaboration of the archaeologists Mariza Carrillo and Christian Hernández, the excavations in Xtojil are part of an archaeological rescue that has taken place in the extension of the road that connects the Yucatecan populations of Libre Unión and Yaxcabá.

In this section, which is 18 kilometers long, they have been found 28 archaeological structures of different dimensions. Almost all of them have collapsed: of some only simple foundations remain, but others are more elaborate living spaces, among which are, for example, pyramidal structures 6 to 12 meters high.

José Osorio León, explained that the Structure 22, where the ten skeletons were discovered, was partially affected in the 1950s, when construction of the road began. However, the north and south walls were very well defined. He also detailed that apart from the ten skeletons, another seven people were placed in cists, and they found around 30 pieces of pottery, in addition to other objects.

Except for the ten skeletons, the rest is in poor condition, and so far sex cannot be determined thereof. However, they have determined that most of the skeletons are adults and are not deformed of any kind.

José Osorio indicated that his team could only intervene in the sections that were along the road, and that location allowed drivers and passers-by to appreciate the archaeological wealth of the area.

Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in all that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.

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