Mexican experts say original pyramid found at Chichen Itza
Archaeologists have discovered what may be the original structure built at the pyramid of Kukulkan at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, experts said Wednesday.
|The Kukulkan temple in Chichen Itza, Mexico [Credit: INAH]|
Archaeologists have long known that a smaller pyramid is encapsulated underneath the visible temple.
Researchers said Wednesday that they had detected an even smaller structure inside the other two structures. Using what is called tri-dimensional electric resistivity tomography, or "ERT-3D," they found a 10-metre tall structure within the 20-metre tall 'intermediate' pyramid that was covered over by the last construction stage, perhaps around 900 A.D.
|Three-dimensional electrical scans indicate that the substructure, built between the years 550 and 800 AD, |
measures 13m in height, 12m along the north-south axis and 18m along the east-west axis
Argote, of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, said the first structure may be in the "pure Maya" style from between 500 and 800 A.D.
University of California, San Diego anthropology professor Geoffrey Braswell, who was not involved in the latest project but who has conducted research at Chichen Itza, said the discovery may be new, or may be a structure detected in the 1940s.
|Geophysical confirmation both of the cenote and second substructure, could guide future |
archaeological exploration work to locate the original shrine's access point
"The tunnel was unstable, so we know very little about this platform," Braswell wrote. "It appears to be much smaller than the outer two pyramids, and is not perfectly aligned within them."
The computer image distributed by the researchers also showed un underlying structure not quite aligned with the subsequent layers.
|Three-dimensional views of the substructure at the Kukulkan temple |
"To make matters more complicated, " Braswell wrote, "the third Russian doll moving in may actually be one of a set of several small dolls rattling around inside the same shell. We just do not know. "
Rene Chavez, a researcher at the National Autonomous University's Institute of Geophysics, said the early structure appeared to have a staircase and perhaps an altar at the top that may have just been filled in and preserved. The structure has been mapped, but it is not clear whether it will be excavated.
|Aerial view of Kukulkan [Credit: Rex]|
Author: Mark Stevenson | Source: The Associated Press [November 16, 2016]