MÉRIDA – A selection of “extraordinary pieces”, discovered during archaeological salvage work on Section 3 of the Maya Train, will enrich the contents of the Puuc Archaeological Museum, located in the Kabah Archaeological Zone.
During President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s morning press conference, INAH General Director, Diego Prieto Hernández, gave a report on the archaeological salvage work that has already been completed on this section, which goes from Calkiní, in Campeche, to Izamal, in Yucatán, where 100% of the works have been approved.
According to the anthropologist, the archaeological cause has motivated more than 30 engineering adjustments to safeguard important pre-Hispanic elements in the route of the Mayan Train: “The most recent example implied ‘verticalizing’ the slope of the cut, by the Mota-Engil company, for the construction of a bridge in Boca del Cerro, an elevation in Tenosique, Tabasco, on top of which an ancient Mayan settlement is located”.
At the same time, he added, the care of subway bodies such as cenotes, caves, and flooded caves has been taken care of, particularly those located in Section 5. “Even, an ecological and tourist corridor will be built around the Paamul II site, which will include the caves of Las Manitas, Ocho Balas, and Garra de Jaguar (Jaguar’s Claw). In this last one is located a cenote of considerable diameter, where the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism and the INDI Group decided to solve the transit issue by means of a cable-stayed bridge supported on piles, 260 meters high, to free this body of water”.
New museum in Dzibilchaltún, near Mérida
“Work is currently underway to renovate the Dzibilchaltún Site Museum, an archaeological zone located 15 kilometers from Mérida, to incorporate, through a new museography discourse, the most recent research on what is considered one of the largest known groups of pre-Columbian ruins, a center of importance from before our era, up to the time of the Spanish conquest.
“We already have the executive project of the same one, and advances of 85% and 90% in the new scientific script and in the classification of archaeological pieces that will be in the exhibition, respectively”, he detailed.
The head of INAH indicated that conservation works are also being carried out in Dzibilchaltún, specifically in the Temple of the Seven Dolls. The works in this building from the end of the Middle Classic period (around 750 A.D.), whose architectural typology and alignment with the four cardinal points suggest an astronomical and calendrical function, are 73% complete, and the construction of the Catvi and the services unit, 13.5%.
In addition, he added, the leveling and foundation work for the service units at sites along the Puuc Route, such as Oxkintok, Kabah, Sayil, Chacmultún, and Labná, is nearing completion.
New museum in Kabah, Yucatán
After reminding that Kabah will be the site of the Puuc Museum, Prieto Hernandez informed that archaeological works have concluded in this site and are about to close those concerning restoration and conservation; similar cases are in the South Plaza of the Uxmal Archaeological Zone, where the excavation and consolidation of its structures is at 95%, and in the Loltun Caves, whose petroglyphs received restoration-conservation treatments, and can now be admired again.
The general director of INAH pointed out that, as of May 1, 2023, in the archaeological salvage tasks in Section 3 of the Maya Train, 7,360 immovable goods have been registered and preserved (foundations, walls and pre-Hispanic foundations); 375 movable goods among metates and other ceramic objects, as well as 294,530 sherds; 19 burials and 119 natural features associated to human settlements were found. All these materials are being analyzed to prepare the respective reports.