The residential complex is the first such find in the ruined Mayan city.
Researchers in Mexico have discovered a new group of structures at Chichen Itza, a famous Mayan archaeological site, that may have once belonged to the local elite. This find is the result of the work of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH), a government agency dedicated to the preservation of historical monuments. Prior to this discovery, experts were not aware of any residential buildings in Chichen Itza, writes the Smithsonian.
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According to Francisco Pérez Ruiz, an archaeologist at INAH, this residential complex may be the first residential structure where a ruler lived with his entire family.
It consists of an entrance arch, as well as the “House of the Snails, the House of the Moon and the so-called Palace of the Phalluses”.
Archaeologists believe that the existence of a housing complex suggests that similar finds are still to come. There should be more unexplored residential complexes. And their detailed study can reveal much more about other families and social groups that once lived in that place.
Chichen Itza is considered one of the seven wonders of the world and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a ruined Mayan city located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and stretching over approximately 10 square kilometers.
Settlers first came here around 550 AD. At its peak, according to experts, the religious, political and cultural center was home to about 35,000 people.
However, in the 15th century the city was abandoned. Archaeological excavations here began over 100 years ago. According to UNESCO, “the fine materials and construction techniques used by the Maya during the construction of buildings have ensured the preservation of the architectural, sculptural and pictorial essence of Chichen Itza for centuries.”
The city’s most famous landmark is El Castillo, a large temple containing numerous references to the Mayan calendar. Other attractions include the Temple of the Warriors, which has hundreds of engraved columns, and numerous Mayan ball courts. By the way, the Maya used human remains to create balls , as told by Focus .