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The Discovery of a Long-Lost Maya City in Campeche, Mexico

An international team of Mexican and foreign archaeologists led by Dr. Ivan Šprajc recently discovered the remains of a large Maya city in the jungles of Campeche in south-eastern Mexico (the same general area that Lara explored in Tomb Raider: Underworld). The city, which has been named Chactún (“Red Rock”), is thought to have flourished during the Late Classic Period (600 and 900 AD)  and was the political centre of an area covering some 22 hectares, making it one of the largest Maya sites in the Central Maya lowlands.

Dr. Ivan Šprajc, leader of the team that discovered Chactún (Image credit: INAH)

Thanks to the wonders of aerial photography and modern technology, the team were able to locate and identify the architectural remains of three monumental complexes and create a three-dimensional map of the site for further study. Numerous structures have been discovered so far, including pyramids, palatial structures, two ballcourts, residential areas, and plazas. An epigraphist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico has been tasked with recording the inscriptions of the various stelae and altars that can be found scattered across the site. One of the stelae studied so far has revealed the name of a ruler, K’inich B’alam, though much more work must be carried out in order to piece together the history of Chactún and its rulers.

One of the stelae found at Chactún (Image credit: INAH)

More information on this discovery can be found on the Past Horizons website or in the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia’s news bulletin (Spanish only). Some photos of the site and Dr. Šprajc’s team can be found here.

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About Kelly M (359 Articles)
A Gibraltarian-born blogger, gamer, and archaeology enthusiast with a passion for languages and wildlife conservation. Tweets under the username @TombRaiderArch and runs the official fansite, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider.

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Lara’s Travels: Maya Ruins of Southern Mexico (Part 2) | The Archaeology of Tomb Raider
  2. Guest Blog: 6 Amazing Archaeological Sites That Lara Croft Hasn’t Visited (But Really Should) | The Archaeology of Tomb Raider
  3. Lara’s Travels: Maya Ruins of Southern Mexico (Part 2) | The Archaeology of Tomb Raider

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