INAH finds two sets of buildings in Kabah, Yucatán

  • Diego Prieto Hernández explained in the morning conference at the National Palace that “there were already indirect notions of these complexes,” located in the central part of the settlement, but they were “covered by the vegetal mantle.”

The director of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Diego Prieto Hernández, announced yesterday the discovery of two sets of residential buildings in the archaeological zone of Kabah, in Yucatán.

The Mayan city has been the subject of new investigations in the context of works to improve archaeological zones related to the construction of the Mayan Train, Prieto explained at the morning press conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at the National Palace.

This city, whose name in Mayan means “lord of the strong or powerful hand,” is located approximately 100 kilometers from the city of Mérida, and was founded between the years 250 and 500 AD. “The axis layout, the way of building with large carved stones and the perfection achieved in these works indicate that the founders of Kabah arrived from the Guatemalan or Belizean Petén with an already developed architectural tradition,” the official explained.

Decorated palace This is the first time that this type of pre-Hispanic constructions have been located in the heritage site. When detailing the discoveries, Prieto Hernández reported that among them a palace-type building stands out, with an extension of 26 meters and a main façade composed of a portico with eight pilasters and nine openings.

The structure was decorated with feather, bead and bird motifs carved into its architecture; On its staircase there are vestiges of a stucco figurehead, which covered up to nine meters in length.

Although, he explained, “there were already indirect notions of these complexes,” located in the central part of the settlement, “until recently they remained covered by the vegetal mantle that they acquired over time.” Now, its research and consolidation will allow expanding the circuit of visits to the pre-Hispanic city and will provide greater insight into the ancient inhabitants of Kabah.

The head of the INAH, who summarized the progress of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), promoted by the federal Ministry of Culture, also highlighted the upcoming opening of the Chichén Viejo complex or Initial Series, in Chichen Itzá, which will allow national tourism and international know a primitive settlement of this archaeological site, and presented a video about the area.

Thousands of vestiges So far, the team of researchers, coordinated in Kabah and in the Puuc region of Yucatán, by archaeologists Lourdes Toscano Hernández and José Huchim Herrera, has also recovered ceramic remains characteristic of the Petenera area, such as polychrome bowls and vessels utilitarian.

Investigated by the INAH since 1997, the Initial Series group receives that name because in its main pyramid the only inscription with a date in the Mayan long count has been deciphered, which corresponds to July 26, 878.

Prieto Hernández explained that, as of September 7, the general archaeological rescue work of the Mayan Train has made it possible to register and preserve 55,132 pieces of real estate, one million 249,777 ceramic fragments and 1,925 complete movable elements or those that could have been be restored, 1,339 archaeological pieces in the process of restoration, 647 bones and 2,252 natural features associated with the landscape and human activity.