New Excavations at Chichen Itza Reveal Old City

September 18th, 2009 by ejalbright

Photo courtesy Tony Rojas.

For the first time in many years, archaeologists are Chichen Itza are excavating next to El Castillo, and have found that the city had been rebuilt maybe as many as five times in the past.

This spring the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History or INAH), an international team of archaeologists and archaeology students, and an extensive crew of laborers excavated some eight trenches between the giant pyramid and the Temple of Warriors.

According to archaeologist Rafael Cobos, member of INAH Archaeology Council and supervisor of the project, the aim of the project was to determine the origins, development, and architectonic evolution of three of the most emblematic structures at Chichen Itza, El Castillo, the Temple of Warriors, and the Court of 1,000 Columns.

What they found was a substructure that predates all three of those structures and is estimated to be from between 8th and 9th centuries.

The excavation team has uncovered 12 linear meters of the substructure, including a building corner, a cornice and a slope wall. “It is not known where it ends or if it has a staircase,” reports Cobos.

An extensive report of the excavation, with photographs taken in July, can be found in the American Egypt Feature section HERE. An update on the excavation with photos taken more recently can by found at Erik Boot’s “Maya News Updates” Web page HERE.

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