Discovered: 1,000 Year-Old Ancient Maya Palace

Parts of Kulubá are already open to the public, and the INAH hopes the newly discovered palace will become accessible “in the medium term.” (Mauricio Marat/INAH )

An Ancient Maya Palace Was Discovered in Yucatán State

By Brigit Katz/Smithsonian

Video: Mayan Palace

At the archaeological site of Kulubá, nestled amid the lowland forests of Mexico’s Yucatán state, experts have unearthed the remains of a large palace believed to have been used by Maya elite around 1,000 years ago.

According to Emma Graham-Harrison of the Guardian, the structure spans nearly 20 feet high, 180 feet long and almost 50 feet wide. It appears to have consisted of six rooms, and is part of a larger complex that includes two residential rooms, an altar and an oven. Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) says archaeologists also uncovered a burial containing “various individuals” during excavation of the palace; the organization hopes that anthropological examination of these remains will help shed light on the people who once populated Kulubá.

Experts think the site was occupied for two distinct periods: between 600 to 900 A.D. and 850 to 1050 A.D. The first era of habitation falls within the Classic Period of the Maya civilization, when the ancient people occupied a swath of territory across Mexico, Guatemala and northern Belize. They built thriving cities, and their population swelled to more than 19 million people. By around 900 A.D., however, many major Maya cities had collapsed for reasons that remain unclear;   Read More:


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