|Archaeologists discover an ancient Mayan city at a construction site in Mexico|
The city, which is built in the Mayan Puuc style, is thought to have been occupied between 600 and 900 AD, according to researchers.
On the construction site of what would become an industrial park outside Mérida, on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, archaeologists discovered the remnants of an ancient Mayan city packed with palaces, pyramids, and plazas.
Archaeologists say the site, known as Xiol, exhibits traces of the Mayan Puuc type of building, which is abundant in the southern Yucatán peninsula but uncommon near Mérida.
"We believe there were more than 4,000 people living around here," said Carlos Peraza, one of the archaeologists who conducted the excavation of the city, which was occupied between 600 and 900 AD.
"There were people from various socioeconomic strata who lived in these magnificent palaces... priests, scribes, and there were also regular people who lived in little structures," Peraza explained.
Adult and child burial places were also discovered nearby, together with obsidian and flint tools, offerings, and other personal items.
Marine life remains were also uncovered in the region, implying that the city's residents supplemented their agricultural diets by fishing off the coast.
After the development of an industrial park began, Xiol was discovered. According to the landowners, that will still be erected, however, the archaeological remains will be protected.
"With the passage of time, the area's urban sprawl has developed, and many of the archaeological remains have been destroyed... "However, even archaeologists are startled because we did not anticipate uncovering such a well-preserved site," Peraza said.