The ruins of a Mayan site, called Xiol, pictured after archaeologists found it at a construction site in Mexico. (Credits: Reuters/Lorenzo Hernandez)

Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city filled with palaces, pyramids, and plazas on a construction site in Mexico.

The site will eventually become an industrial park near Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

But for now, it’s a unique glimpse into an ancient culture.

The site, called Xiol, has features of the Mayan Puuc style of architecture, archaeologists said, which is common in the southern Yucatan Peninsula but rare near Merida.

‘We think more than 4,000 people lived around here,’ said Carlos Peraza, one of the archaeologists who led the excavation of the city, estimated to have been occupied from 600–900 A.D.

‘There were people from different social classes … priests, scribes, who lived in these great palaces, and there were also the common people who lived in small buildings,’ Peraza said.

Experts think 4,000 people once lived in the city. (Credits: Reuters)

People from all kinds of different social classes once lived here. (Credits: Reuters)

Researchers also located nearby burial grounds of adults and children, who were interred with obsidian and flint tools, offerings, and other belongings.

A pot is displayed after being discovered in the ruins of the Mayan site Xiol. (Credits: Reuters/Lorenzo Hernandez)

This site will eventually become an industrial zone (Credits: Reuters)

Remains of marine life were also discovered in the area, suggesting the city’s inhabitants complemented their agricultural-based diets by fishing along the nearby coast.

Vases, pots and tools are displayed after being discovered in the ruins (Credits: Reuters)

Xiol was discovered after construction began on an industrial park. That will still be built, though the archaeological remains will be preserved, according to the owners of the land.

Men work near the ruins of Xiol, after archaeologists uncovered the ancient Mayan city. (Credits: Reuters)

‘With time, urban sprawl (in the area) has grown and many of the archaeological remains have been destroyed … but even we as archaeologists are surprised, because we did not expect to find a site so well preserved,’ Peraza said.


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