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Substructure Discovered in Chichen Itza

MEXICO CITY.- Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found a substructure near El Castillo and Templo de los Guerreros, in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, more than 1,000 years old. The construction corresponds to the period previous to the site splendor, between 8th and 9th centuries, and brings in important data regarding Maya urbanism.

This discovery took place during the research project conducted by INAH, which excavations are oriented to know architectonic features, archaeological contexts and information about terrain’s unevenness.

Archaeologist Rafael Cobos, member of INAH Archaeology Council and responsible of the project, informed that works began with the aim of understanding relations and origins of El Castillo, Gran Columnata and Templo de los Guerreros, 3 emblematic buildings at Chichen Itza, excavating the surrounding space to determine their development and architectonic evolution.

To present, 12 linear meters of the substructure have been found. “It was definitively built 100 years before El Castillo or Templo de los Guerreros, directly settled on parent rock; until now, a building corner, a cornice and a slope wall have been identified; the southeastern part might have been discovered as well, but it is not known where does it end or if it has a staircase”.

A great amount of construction filler material used by ancient Maya to level the terrain has been found, as well as 5 different floor levels covered with stucco that reach the base of El Castillo south staircase.

Conservation state of the substructure is good, declared archaeologist Cobos, because it was covered and sealed during Prehispanic times, using limestone and lime. Once sealed, terrain was leveled and covered with a stucco floor, over which the new construction was built.

The possibility of knowing new architectonic groups such as this substructure would reveal that ancient dwellers were constantly looking forward to outstand from other social groups for political, economic or social reasons.

The finding was not casual, it responds to an excavation program that parts from topographical register and excavation units, in which 4 by 2 meter wells have been dug, with 4 meters depth. Excavations will continue until September 2009.

Cobos concluded that research continues in a yard-gallery at structure 2D6, to the north of Templo de los Guerreros, as well as the reconstruction of the great wall that surrounds the great level of the archaeological zone.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Chichen Itza | Yucatan | Templo de los Guerreros | Archaeologist | Rafael Cobos |

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