In the last few months, archaeologists working in the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatán for the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have announced several important discoveries.

In southern Quintana Roo, excavation is underway at Noh Cah, a large, unexplored jungle site a short distance from the Hondo River. Archaeologists exploring the 25-hectare area have already found temples and other buildings; cave paintings and artifacts that are 1,750 years old. Also in the south of the state, finds of pottery, offerings, stucco friezes, hieroglyphic inscriptions and a mural in the Small Acropolis area of the site of Dzibanche yields evidence proving that this important ancient city was inhabited into the Late Postclassic period (AD 1200-1550) and was not abandoned by the end of the Classic (AD 800-1000) as previously thought. Dzibanche was ruled by the powerful Kaan dynasty also associated with regional superpower Calakmul. The latest findings cast doubts upon the theory that all major cities in the Mayan lowlands were abandoned by the end of the Classic period, hitherto known as the “Maya Collapse.”

A team of archaeologists from Mexico and the United States working at the site of Kiuic in the Yucatán has discovered new evidence that dates one of the pyramids back to 700 B.C., much earlier than previously thought. Located in the Puuc Hills, Kiuic was abandoned around AD 880 and artifacts unearthed in a house mound seem to show that the inhabitants beat a hasty retreat, leaving objects such as a feasting platter depicting the fat god, grinding stones and other kitchen utensils they would have normally taken with them if they were moving permanently.

Finally, 10 Mayan burials surrounded by pottery were discovered at a site called Xtojil during work to widen a rural road. Located near Yaxcaba just 20 kilometers from Chichén Itzá, Xtojil dates from the Late Classic period. The golden age of Chichen Itza was between AD 900 and 1200.
Source: INAH