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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

INAH working to reopen the archaeological sites that are still closed

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
After nearly two years, almost all of Yucatán’s archaeolgocial sites will be open once again. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

After over two years of closing due to the pandemic, a handful of archaeological sites in Yucatán remain off limits.

The most notable of these sites include Xlapak and the Loltún and Balamcanché caves.

Aside from being closed for such a long time, Loltún and Balamcanché are reportedly in particularly bad shape given the particularly active storm season of 2020

“If all goes according to plan, we will be able to reopen these archaeological sites to the public by the beginning of the summer season in late June,” said José Arturo Chab Cárdenas of the INAH.

Last May, INAH authorities reopened the archaeological sites of Chacmultún, Labná, Oxkintok, and Sayil, all known for their Puuc-style architecture. 

March saw the reopening of Acanceh y Aké, both of which are located in or near urban environments. 

Furthermore, the INAH recently announced that it would soon be opening the recently uncovered ancient city of Xiol.

Earlier: Xochicalco, the grand yet often overlooked heir of Teotihuacán

Aerial view of Xiol’s main ceremonial center in Kanasín’s industrial zone. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

During the pandemic, the INAH prioritized the reopening of archaeological sites which generate the most income, namely Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Dzibilchaltún

However, despite the green light from INAH, Dzibilchaltún has remained closed for the better part of a year.

This has been the result of a series of unexpected closures and reopenings that began in June 2021, when a group of protestors claiming ownership over the land blocked the gates to the site.

In 2021, Chichén Itzá became the most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico for the first time, easily beating out Teotihuacan, near Mexico City. This is likely explained by Chichén Itzá’s proximity to Cancún and the Mayan Riviera.

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