Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Maya City Discovered in Mexico

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

(INAH)CAMPECHE, MEXICO—A large Maya city dubbed Chactún, or Red Stone, has been discovered in the jungles of Mexico’s Central Lowlands, in an area once used by loggers, but only recently explored by archaeologists equipped with aerial photographs and images created with LIDAR. The size of the city and its pyramids, palaces, ball courts, and plazas suggest that it was a long-term seat of government some 1,400 years ago. “It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in its extent and the magnitude of its buildings with Becan, Nadzcaan, and El Palmar in Campeche,” explained Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Sprajc. The name of a ruler, K’inich B’ahlam, has been found carved on one of the ten stelae unearthed so far at the site. Archaeologists suspect that Chactún will help them understand the relationships between other nearby Maya cities.