Mayan Train construction crew continue to make fascinating archaeological finds

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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.
The discovery of archaeological finds in the wake of the Mayan Train has become almost routine but no less fascinating. Photo: Courtesy

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 Temple of Masks in Kohunlich Quintana Roo, just off the main road to Chetumal from Escarcega. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

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.

Hundreds of large overpasses, bridges, and nearly 300 miles of track are all scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

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. 

The main pyramid at nearby Kinichná is so massive, and the jungle which surrounds it so dense that its true size can only truly be appreciated from above. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

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. 

Route 7 of the Mayan Train is particularly dense with endangered animals, including howler monkeys and jaguars. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gacht / Yucatán Magzine

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.

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