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Archaeologists find the main burial in tomb found two months ago in the State of Colima
"Inside the shaft tomb (1.2 meters deep), we found a series of bones piled up in disarray, which could belong to the skeletons of more than 10 individuals." Photo: MARCO ZAVALETA-INAH.

Translated by: Cristina Perez Ayala

MEXICO CITY.- After the discovery of 17 burials by the end of last April, east of the city of Colima, whose quantity of bone suggests to having been a pre Hispanic burial related to western cultures, archaeologists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found the osseous remains of the main burial in the shaft tomb, as well as five more burials surrounding it; its antiquity is estimated to date back between 1500 and 2500 years.

According to the archaeologist of the INAH Center in Colima, Marco Zavaleta Lucido, responsible for the excavations, shaft tombs are underground mortuary spaces, characterized by containing a vertical access between one and 15 meters deep leading to one or various vaults with human remains, and (sometimes) offerings.

“Inside the shaft tomb (1.2 meters deep), we found a series of bones piled up in disarray, which could belong to the skeletons of more than 10 individuals; however, when we continued the excavation and removed all the remains, we found a coat of dirt that was covering the semi complete skeleton of a man”, the specialist explained.

“The individual is calculated to be more than 40 years of age at the time of death, and was accompanied by an offering: a pot and an earthenware bowl containing unidentified human bones; we also found a second bowl –with no material inside it– and a vase in the shape of a turtle with an anthropomorphic head as well as four beads of green stone (two circular and two shaped like frogs). By association, we conclude that the remains date back to 1 through 500 AD.

Said elements and the position of the osseous remains, suggests to the specialists that the tomb was created for this character, “this must have been the main burial, because the disarticulate bones were most likely just a part of the offering, or burials that were placed there afterwards, like a family crypt”, added Marco Zavaleta.

Also, barely two meters south of the shaft tomb, they found a burial in a grave excavated with limestone with the skeleton of an adult female –more than 40 years of age at the time of death– and, five meters further, they found a second peculiar funerary space with another feminine skeleton.

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