As the construction of the Mayan Train’s infrastructure plows on, fascinating discoveries continue to be uncovered.
On Thursday, INAH announced the discovery of several previously unknown structures and a ceremonial urn depicting the deity K’awill — sometimes called Bolon Dzacab.
The find of the ceramic urn is especially significant given that depictions in K’awill are rare in Mexico, mostly found in the northern regions of Guatemala.
K’awill makes notable appearances in the Dresden Codex, where he appears to be shown as a powerful lighting god.
The finds were discovered along the path of the Mayan Train’s Route 7 that connects Escarcega and Chetumal.
The ceremonial urn and several objects have been taken to an INAH research institute in Chetumal for further study.
Earlier this year, several artifacts found during the construction of the Mayan Train were put on display at Palacio Nacional in México City, the official residence of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Earlier: Outrage over new threats to recently discovered Mayan ruins in the path of the Mayan Train
Despite its significance, these types of discovery are not particularly surprising as the region between Escargega and Chetumal is chock-full of ancient Maya cities, including Kohunlich, Balamkú, and Dzibanché — to mention but a few.
During the press conference, federal authorities also took the opportunity to announce dramatic progress along several of the Mayan Train’s routes.
Though it is true that significant advances have been made to the rail network during the past year, several key elements of infrastructure, such as stations, appear to be a reality only on the drawing board.
The project was a campaign promise of now-President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was elected in 2018. The project hopes to stimulate tourism in the region and contribute to the economic development of southeastern Mexico.
The Mayan Train is not without its critics who argue that the project will not be completed on time, if at all. Others point to environmental and social issues associated with the project, such as deforestation and opposition from indigenous groups.