According to AFP, researchers in Guatemala have made significant discoveries at the site of the last Mayan city to resist European conquest.
The excavation project, which began in June, uncovered ceramics, human burial grounds, and bullets from Spanish guns. The goal of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of the Tayasal outpost, where Mayan inhabitants settled during the Preclassic period around 900 BCE.
Tayasal was the final Mayan city to succumb to the Spanish conquest in 1697, more than a century after Europeans first arrived in the western highlands of present-day Guatemala.
Suarlin Cordova, the archaeologist leading the dig, explained that the dense jungle surrounding the area served as a natural barrier, making it difficult for the Spaniards to reach these remote locations.
Tayasal was also part of the route used by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes in 1525 during his journey to modern-day Honduras.
The majority of the structures in Tayasal remain buried beneath the earth and vegetation in a seven-square-kilometer area near Lake Peten Itza. Among the partially exposed structures is a 30-meter-high acropolis that served as the residence of the ruling elite. Additionally, there is a pre-Hispanic water well that is still visible at the site.
One of the objectives of the excavation project is to improve the site for tourists, allowing them to better appreciate the significant archaeological value of the Mayan ruins in the region. Jenny Barrios from Guatemala’s Ministry of Culture and Sports expressed the aim to enhance the site’s appeal to visitors.
The Maya civilization reached its zenith between 250 and 900 CE, encompassing southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.