A group of structures at the famed Mayan city Chichen Itza, believed to have been part of an elite housing complex, will open to the public in 2023.
Chichen Itza is a Maya ruins complex in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula that was founded in the 5th century CE. The city was ruled by the Maya elite and served as a pilgrimage place for the ancient Maya, especially during times of drought.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been under exploration by the organization since 1998. Every year, over two million people visit the site.
Several news websites reported last week that archaeologists at Chichen Itza had unearthed a previously unknown elite housing complex. But, according to the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), these “newly discovered” structures were found more than a century ago.
Early archaeologists gave them elaborate titles such as the “house of the moon,” “house of the phallus” and “house of the snail.” Karl Ruppert, an American archaeologist who helped excavate the site, provided details on some of the structures in his book “Chichen Itza: Architectural Notes and plans” in 1952.
“The housing complex would represent “the first residential group where a ruler lived with his entire family,” archaeologist Francisco Perez Ruiz said.
“The study of these peripheral groups, around the central part, could tell us about other families, other groups that made up this great city,” archaeologist Jose Osorio Leon explained.
Archaeologists have continued to uncover new findings at Chichén Itzá over the years. The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) researchers expect that this area, and those yet to be uncovered, will give information on what life was like for the people who inhabited the city.