Yucatán, Land of hidden archaeological zones


The zone of Tizimin municipal and the western coastal fringe are areas with a huge exploration potential.

The Yucatan archaeologist Alfredo Barrera Rubio says that there are still many pre-Hispanic sites and archaeological zones to be discovered in the Yucatan and in other places of the region of the Mayan world. Interviewed by Notimex he explained that in the case of the Yucatan, one of the areas with the largest exploration potential is the northwest, in areas neighboring the municipal of Tizmin and the coastal fringes of that region.

He carries on to explain that he has headed a exploration project in the last 10 years in that zone which is little known , in an area where even the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) doesn’t have a presence, “these are not archaeological zones open to the public” he assures. “In the last 10 years of studies we have found evidence of very early architecture from the pre classic to post classic period.”

Among their findings are vestiges from the middle to late pre classic period in sites like the highway between Sucila and Tizmin and also in an site named Dzonotake and in points of the Tizmin-Chenkeken highway.

Different Architecture: Similarly, they have located very early architecture which reflects how the housing units were of this time.

One of the most representative sites is Kuluba that is some 32 kilometers to the west of Tizmin. “There, there are examples of late classic architecture, with an influence of Chichen Itza. There is also presence of late Pucc architecture that technically is different to the classic architecture of the Puuc region.” He comments. He says that thanks to the studies that they are doing now we know about the ‘rejoyadas’ that were to store water and were a vital factor in the construction of settlements in that place.

Cultivating Cocoa: We also know, he continues, that the little decoration that is conserved at Kuluba was of the Chenes or Teratomorfa style which indicates the entrance to the ‘monster of the earth’ that was precisely the entrances to the caverns and underground sites. This indicates that the settlement was orientated to water storage that besides being water sources were also places where cocoa was cultivated, which was a very important activity in that zone. These water storages sustained life in these ancient settlements.

But in reality, comments Barrera Rubio, there are large sites of the northwest region that hasn’t been explored like San Fernando that is found near the site known as Dzonot-Carretero and there are other sites like San Juan de los Cerros and San Francisco that are near the coastal zone.

For the archaeologist of INAH there are still many more sites waiting to be discovered not only in the Yucatan but in other states and countries where there were pre-Hispanic settlements.