Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city filled with palaces, pyramids and plazas at a construction site for what would become an industrial area near Merida, in MexicoYucatan Peninsula.
Archaeologists said the site, called Sheol, features Mayan Bok style of architecture, which is common in the southern Yucatan Peninsula but rare near Merida.
“We think more than 4,000 people lived here,” said Carlos Peraza, one of the archaeologists who led the excavations of the city, which is estimated to have been inhabited from AD 600 to 900.
“There were people of different social classes … priests and clerks, who lived in these great palaces, and there were also commoners who lived in small buildings,” said Peraza.
The researchers also identified nearby graves of adults and children, who were buried with obsidian and flint tools, offerings, and other possessions.
Remains of marine life have also been discovered in the area, indicating that the townspeople supplemented their agriculture-based diets by fishing along the nearby coast.
Xiol was discovered after construction began on an industrial park. Its construction will continue, although archaeological remains have been preserved, according to the landowners.
Over time, urban sprawl [in the area] “Many archaeological remains have grown and been destroyed … but even we archaeologists are surprised, because we did not expect to find a well-preserved site,” said Peraza.
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