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Mexican archaeologists discover 2,000-year-old Mayan objects

MEXICO ARCHAEOLOGY | 07 de diciembre de 2012

One of the Mayan relics found by Mexican archaeologists at Cenote San Manuel. EFE/Curt Bowen/INAH

Mexico City, Dec 7 (EFE).- Mexican archaeologists have found handicrafts from the Mayan culture in the southeastern states of Yucatan and Campeche, notable among which are ceramics some 2,300 years old.

The National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said in a communique that some of the most outstanding objects were discovered in the Cenote San Manuel, Yucatan, an underground body of water that is reached by rappelling down a well.

Two vessels probably made between the years 300 B.C. and 200 A.D. were recovered there. One of the vessels is of a globular shape with a plaited handle, has a human face and a plant-like body. The other shows a face with a headdress with remains of blue and red pigments.

"Up to now this kind of stylized pottery has not been found in the natural underground wells of the (Yucatan) Peninsula, nor in anywhere near this state of preservation," INAH's Helena Barba Meinecke said.

The explorations continue in the semi-dry cave of Huachabi in Campeche.

This cave lies within the still-unexplored Miramar archaeological site. In its interior, which is reached by rappelling some 20 meters (66 feet) down, are distributed close to 50 spaces adorned with various handicrafts.

In the Aktun Aam cave, also in Campeche, INAH said that rituals including initiation and purification ceremonies were held there, as evidenced by the arrangement of the objects discovered.

Barba said that in each branch of the 200-meter (660-foot) deep cavern are deposited, generally in groups, black ceramic pots with carved decorations, as well as flat stones for grinding corn made of limestone from the same cave.

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