Sprawling across the site are pyramid-like edifices approximately 50 feet tall.
Archeologists exploring Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula have found a lost ancient Maya city, hidden from sight, thanks to LiDAR. As revealed by INAH, unearthed deep within Mexico’s verdant jungles lies a once-hidden Mayan city. A diligent team from the National Institute of Anthropology and History’s Archaeology Council discovered this previously unknown settlement in the Yucatán Peninsula.
A Lost Ancient Maya City
Sprawling across the site are pyramid-like edifices approximately 50 feet tall, as reported by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. The structures, coupled with ceramics found on-site, suggest Ocomtún flourished as a significant Central Lowlands hub during the Classic period, spanning from 250 to 1000 AD.
A Grueling Expedition
Led by archaeologist Ivan Sprajc, the team embarked on a challenging 37-mile expedition through the Balamkú ecological reserve’s dense foliage in the Campeche state. Sprajc revealed their most startling find: a ‘peninsula’-like city amid expansive wetlands.
Ocomtún, a Lost city of the Ancient Maya
Covering over 50 hectares, Ocomtún’s monumental nucleus boasts several towering pyramidal structures and cylindrical columns, suspected to be upper-room entrances. Named “stone column” in the Mayan language, Ocomtún unfolds a plethora of potential community ritual spaces or marketplaces, yet to be further studied.
Tracing the Evolution and Fall of Ocomtún
Ocomtún seemingly underwent transformations between 800 and 1000 AD, culminating in the 10th-century collapse of the Lowland Maya civilization, Sprajc explained. This period marked significant changes in the city’s architectural and societal structures.
The University of Houston’s airborne laser scanning significantly contributed to the discovery. This technique enabled researchers to locate the site spanning approximately 1158 sq m in the uninhabited jungle, stated Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History.
The Ancient Maya
The Maya civilization, renowned for its exceptional architecture, ball games enthusiasm, advanced calendar systems, writing, and mathematics, remains a testament to the Western hemisphere’s most progressive societies predating European settlement. Inhabiting areas now part of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, their fascinating legacy continues to unravel with discoveries like Ocomtún.