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  • Archaeologist Guillermo de Anda observes a pre-Hispanic artifact at Balamku cave, located in the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula

    Archaeologist Guillermo de Anda observes a pre-Hispanic artifact at Balamku cave, located in the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 March 2019

"This is an archeological complex that hasn't been touched or altered, which has a huge value for us," said Guillermo de Anda.

Archeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) of Mexico have "re-found" a cave that is "an invaluable treasure of information," and that could help to understand and re-write the history of Chichen Itza, one of the most important ceremonial centers for the Maya ancient civilization.

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Guillermo de Anda, archeologist of the INAH and director of the program Gran Acuifero Maya (Great Mayan Aquifer, GAM) stated that the Balamku or "Cave of the Jaguar God" was found 54 years ago was discovered by local Campesinos and by children, who alerted archeologists working in the Chichen Itza archeology complex.

"This is an archeological complex that hasn't been touched or altered, which has a huge value for us," said de Anda to Aristegui Noticias. According to the director fo GAM, the cave's access was blocked after being "accidentally" found and they still don't know the reasons why the archeologists did that 54 years ago, but it is a good thing now. "Because information is there, and we could rewrite history in Chichen Itza."

The cave "was sealed for a long time, the information was stopped in time for more than a thousand years," the data extracted from the cave will allow knowing more information about the Maya, founders of Chichen Itza, and their relations with other ancestral cultures in the territories known today as Mexico.

"The @ProyectoGAM rediscover #Balamkú, underground sanctuary of #ChichénItzá.
The project of the #INAH, Gran Acuífero Maya, will initiate a meticulous registry of the site through the creation of models in third dimension, without modifying the context. Gallery: http://bit.ly/2tRiAQ9"
 

According to de Anda, among the around a thousand found artifacts that are almost perfectly conserved, there are over 200 censers and many of those have images of Tlaloc, the God of Rain for the Aztecs and other ancestral people that inhabited in other regions that were in what now is the central area of Mexico (around 1300km away from the area). These findings, confirm the hypothesis that in some point in history there were contacts between these civilizations and that the cult for the Rain God traveled from the Center of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula.

According to one of the legends, said de Anda to Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, Eleuterio Mazon a campesino from the area was hunting and shot a raccoon; the raccoon escaped and Mazon followed it, and that is how the Balamku cave was discovered. Archeologists working in Chichen Itza sealed the cave, for reasons that are still unknown according to the INAH archaeologist. "Some of the kids from 54 years ago, are still alive and we have talked to them," that is how they arrived to re-discover the archeological spot.

The access to the cave is very difficult, the scientists have to crawl in order to get to the ceremonial cave, "it is a treasure of information," to reveal secrets of Chichen Itza and the Maya civilization.

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