Published: 8:59 AM - 07-06-11
It is the largest skeletal finding of its kind in the region
A group of archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recently found 116 burial sites dating back more than 1,000 years. The sites are close to a Mayan archaeological site in Mexico's southern region.
The artefacts were found in the Mayan ruins of Comalcalco in Tabasco state.
INAH said the artefacts include the remains of 66 skeletons found inside burial urns and 50 found scattered around the urns.
It is the largest skeletal finding of its kind in the region. Archaeologists working on the project believe this could indicate it is a pre-Hispanic cemetery.
The deposits were found under three mounds in the area. The mounds are located 2.8km north from the Great Acropolis of Comalcalco.
"It's a unique context. It will provide valuable information. In all my years at Comalcalco, 19 years, and that of other colleagues before me, we have recovered some 43 skeletons," said the coordinator at the work site, archaeologist Ricardo Armijo. "Over a 35 day-period we recovered 116 skeletons. It's unique due to the conservation state they and the urns were found in."
Mr Armijo said jade incrustations on the 66 urns could indicate the buried were elite Mayans.
Objects associated with burials were also found, such as whistles and ceramic rattles in the shape of animals and humans. Other findings at the site included knives, daggers, obsidian, fragments of grinding stones and over 70,000 shards.
The materials could date back to 750-850 AD, i.e. some 1,161 to 1,200 years.
The Maya built soaring temples and elaborate palaces in southern Mexico and Central America. The dominated the region for some 2,000 years, before mysteriously abandoning their cities around 900 AD.