- Title: New investigation uncovers reported original pyramid at Mexico's Chichen Itza
- Date: 16th November 2016
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) SIGN AT HUMANITIES HOUSE AT UNAM UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATORS AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 1st December 2016 22:47
- Keywords: Chichen Itza Mexico discovery archaeology Maya ancient pyramid
- Location: MEXICO CITY, CHICHEN ITZA, YUCATAN, MEXICO / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- City: MEXICO CITY, CHICHEN ITZA, YUCATAN, MEXICO / UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00158P39KZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Investigators from Mexico City's UNAM university announced to media on Wednesday (November 16) that they have reportedly discovered what could be the original pyramid structure of Chichen Itza's famed Kukulkan pyramid.
The discovery was made using electrical imagining technology on the Mayan pyramid popularly known as El Castillo.
Digital images reveal the original structure situated below the ancient pyramid.
"With the discovery of this structure we're talking about something from the pure Mayans. A lot has been excavated and there is a lot of information on the transitional periods (of the Mayas) and there is a Mexican style at the site but there is little information on the original site," said Denisse Argotte, an investigator from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The discovery of the structure comes just one year after investigators found a large cenote, or sinkhole cave, underneath the famous Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza.
UNAM scientist Rene Chavez told media that the proximity of the original structure to the cenote could confirm suspicions the ancient Mayans built the larger pyramid at the site due to the existence of the water body.
"The structure that we have found, the new structure, is not completely in the centre of the Kukulcan pyramid. It is in the direction where the cenote is. This could either confirm or hypothesise that the Mayans when they built this structure that they knew of the existence of this cenote," said Chavez.
Mesoamerican pyramid structures were developed at different stages. A smaller pyramid was covered by another larger pyramid using the first one as part of the second's foundation.
The suspected original pyramid structure had not been destroyed by the Mayans when they built Kukulkan.
Argotte believes this was due to the sacred nature of the site.
"They are sacred sites, cosmic areas, locations where the governors, the priests were in contact with the spiritual world. Because of this they (ruins) cannot be destroyed. They (ruins) could be killed as part of a ritual," she added.
The Maya civilisation reached its peak between A.D. 250 and 900 when it ruled over large swathes of what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
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