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New archaeological discoveries uncovered near Izamal

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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.
A handful of the structures found at X’baatún are reported to be comparable in size to several temples in nearby Izamal. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

After a prolonged hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, archaeologists in Yucatán are getting back to work.

One of the projects now underway is an archaeological survey at the site of X’baatún in the municipality of Tekal de Venegas, roughly 10 kilometers from Izamal

Work at the site began back in late 2018 but was abandoned when the pandemic broke out. 

The ancient Maya settlement of X’baatún was likely a satellite community of Izamal but appears to have a sizable ceremonial center of its own, complete with pyramids and a Mesoamerican ballcourt.

Research at the site is being conducted by a team of Mexican and Spanish archaeologists, who noted that the ancient settlement was actually discovered back in the late 1990s.

Earlier: A return to glory for the once forgotten Maya city of Moral de Reforma

“So far we have identified 22 structures at the site, but suspect that several smaller structures are likely to emerge,” said Juan García Targa of the University of Barcelona.

Aside from “old-school” methods, the research team is also being aided by the use of high-tech tools including GPS mapping and advanced drone imaging.

Though restoration efforts have not yet begun, archaeologists have started to carefully remove vegetation from several of the structures, making sure to not cause damage that may result from extracting deeply settled roots. 

All archaeological research in Mexico is conducted under the supervision of the INAH, Mexico’s Institute of History and Anthropology.

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