On the building site of what will become an industrial park outside Merida, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, archaeologists discovered the remnants of an ancient Mayan city packed with palaces, pyramids, and plazas.
Archaeologists say the site, known as Xiol, exhibits traces of the Mayan Puuc type of construction, which is abundant in the southern Yucatan Peninsula but uncommon near Merida.
“We believe there were more than 4,000 people living around here,” said Carlos Peraza, one of the archaeologists who conducted the excavation of the settlement, which was populated between 600 and 900 A.D.
“There were individuals from different social strata living in these magnificent palaces… priests, scribes, and there were also regular people living in modest structures,” Peraza explained.
Adult and child burial places were also discovered nearby, together with obsidian and flint tools, offerings, and other personal items.
Marine life remains were also uncovered in the region, suggesting that the city’s residents supplemented their agricultural diets by fishing off the coast.
After the development of an industrial park began, Xiol was discovered. According to the landowners, that will still be erected, however the archaeological remains will be protected.
“Over time, the area’s urban expansion has developed, and many of the historical relics have been destroyed… yet even we archaeologists were amazed to see a site so well maintained,” Peraza said.