Researchers Discover Remains of Massive Maya City

Jun 26, 2023

Ancient Maya Civilization

The ancient Mayans lived in the jungles of Central America more than 2,000 years ago. They are thought of as one of the greatest early civilizations. But archaeologists are still discovering the many amazing things the Maya people did. 

Researchers in Mexico recently found what is left of a huge Maya city. They found it in the jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Maya society existed from 1,000 BCE to 150 CE. It was in the areas that are now Guatemala, southern Mexico, and northern Belize. The Maya are famous for many things. These include art, writing, mathematics, calendar, and astronomy.     

The archaeologists discovered structures that looked like pyramids. They are more than 50 feet high. They also found other items, including pottery. They named the site Ocomtún. In the Mayan language this means 'stone column'. 

The area had been completely lost to the jungle. This meant that no one had been able to explore there. Archaeologists for Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) Spoke to the BBC. They said they had been working in the Central Maya Lowlands. This area spans about 1,150 square miles of jungle. 

Researchers at the University of Houston were also part of the project. They helped the Mexican team find many of the structures, the BBC said. To do this, they used new technology. This included something called airborne-laser mapping. 

Ivan Sprajc led the team. He said they found something surprising. They discovered an area of the site that was higher. It was also surrounded by wetlands. “The site would have served as an important regional center,” he said in a statement from INAH. 

Reflect: Do you think it’s important to study ancient civilizations? Explain.

The infographic can help support the reader in answering which of the following questions? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. When was the site of Ocomtún discovered?
b. Where in Mexico is the new site of Ocomtún?
c. Who discovered the new site of Ocomtún?
d. How many ancient Mayan sites have been discovered in Mexico?
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