Ancient Mayan city

Current Affairs, Art & Culture

Ancient Mayan City Discovered in Southern Mexico Jungle

Why in News:

Anthropologists have recently uncovered a previously unknown ancient Mayan city in the jungles of southern Mexico.

Important Points: Ancient Maya City:

  • The newly discovered ancient Mayan city, named Ocomtun in the Yucatec Maya language (meaning “stone column”), was likely an important center over a thousand years ago.
  • The city’s features include large pyramid-like buildings, stone columns, three plazas with imposing structures, and other arrangements forming almost-concentric circles.
  • Located in the Balamku ecological reserve on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, it would have been a significant hub for the peninsula’s central lowland region between 250 and 1000 AD.
  • The city’s core area sits on elevated ground, surrounded by vast wetlands.

Mayan Civilization:

  • The Mayans are renowned among the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica.
  • Originating around 2600 B.C. in the Yucatán peninsula, they flourished around A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, northern Belize, and western Honduras.
  • The Mayans made substantial advancements in astronomy, calendrical systems, and hieroglyphic writing, building upon the knowledge of earlier civilizations.
  • They are celebrated for their intricate and highly adorned ceremonial architecture, including temple pyramids, palaces, and observatories, all constructed without the use of metal tools.
  • Skilled in agriculture, they cleared large portions of tropical rainforests and built substantial underground reservoirs to store rainwater in regions with scarce groundwater.

Yucatan Peninsula:

  • The Yucatan Peninsula is a northeastern projection of Central America, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and north, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
  • Composed mostly of coralline and porous limestone rocks, the peninsula holds historical significance as an area of rich Mayan civilization and culture.

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