- In Mexico, archaeologists made an unusual discovery: a boat believed to be more than a thousand years old.
- A paddle boat was found during a dive near the devastated Mayan city.
- According to the Ministry of Culture, the canoe is the first of its kind to be discovered in the ancient Maya region.
Archaeologists made the discovery during rescue work along the planned route of a “Maya Train” in the Yucatan Peninsula on a canoe, near the famous ruined Mayan city of Chichen Itza, Mexico’s Ministry of Culture announced Friday (local time).
Controversial Trin Maya
The Maya Train (“Maya Train”) is expected to cover a distance of about 1,500 kilometers from 2024, mostly on the Yucatan Peninsula, carrying about three million tourists annually. According to the plans, freight trains and regular passenger trains will also use the new railway network.
The train is supposed to boost tourism in southeastern Mexico. However, environmental groups and representatives of indigenous communities have filed lawsuits against the project – there are six UNESCO World Heritage sites and five biosphere reserves in the area. Archaeologists have already made many discoveries along the way under construction – such as frescoes and pots.
Accordingly, diving archaeologists came across a paddle boat when they were in the so-called cenote – a hole in the ground filled with fresh water, which occurs in large numbers in the area, partly related to each other and considered sacred places by the indigenous Maya.
Vehicle to transport offers?
The boat is said to be 1.6 meters long, 80 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters high. According to a preliminary estimate, it dates back to the period between 830 and 950 – long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico in the 16th century.
The find was significant because it was the first canoe of its kind discovered in the former Maya region in complete and well-preserved condition, it was said. It could have been used to draw water from the cenote or to make offerings there.
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