Archaeologists found an ancient Mayan palace that was probably used by elite members of society over 1,000 years ago. The palace was discovered in the ancient city of Kuluba which is not far from Cancun, Mexico.
The large structure was found in the eastern part of the Kuluba archaeological zone which is a pre-Hispanic site located in the Yucatán state. Excavations at the site revealed the large palace that measured 180 feet long by 50 feet wide and 20 feet in height. According to the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), it was inhabited by locals during two lengthy time periods between 600 and 1050 A.D.
In addition to the palace, four other structures were discovered. They found an altar, remains of two residential buildings, and a round shaped structure which they think was an oven. There is still much more work that needs to be done, though. “This work is the beginning, we’ve barely began uncovering one of the most voluminous structures on the site,” archaeologist Alfredo Barrera said in a video statement.
According to the INAH, conservationists are looking to reforest certain parts of Kuluba in order to protect the site against sun and wind damage.
The ancient city of Kuluba had very important connections with other Maya cities like Ek’ Balam and Chichen Itza as it was part of their network of trade and territory.
The Mayan civilization prospered in Central America for approximately 3,000 years – reaching their peak between 250 and 900 A.D. Today, their descendants still live throughout different Maya areas. The Mayans created very advanced architecture and art in addition to having the only completely developed written language in that area during that time.
They are also famously known for their astronomical and mathematical systems. In fact, they had extensive knowledge of the stars and relied on astrological cycles in order to figure out when to plant their crops. It is believed that they even built their cities to coincide with the stars. The pyramid at Chichen Itza, for example, was constructed in accordance to the position of the sun during the spring and fall equinoxes. When the sun sets on those two days, the pyramid casts a shadow upon itself which aligns perfectly with the head carving of the Mayan’s serpent god. The serpent’s body is created by the shadow which makes it look as though it’s crawling towards the ground during the setting of the sun.
This new discovery of a Mayan palace is just one of the many astonishing remains that have been found throughout the years created by an incredibly fascinating civilization. Pictures of the palace can be seen here.