Archaeologists recently discovered two-meter-high domestic housing platforms made of clay in the Mexican state of Tabasco, indicating that there was once a pre-Hispanic Mayan settlement there.
The archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) were working on the site of a future oil and gas pipeline located between two existing archeology sites: Huimango and Comalcalco. The location of the newly discovered platforms is within 525 feet (160 meters) of the pipeline’s path and they are currently being excavated to determine how old they are. According to the INAH, “the archaeological team has detected a considerable concentration of ceramic materials in the final section of the route, which is why it will also be excavated.”
Coordinator José Luis Romero Rivera reported that the new findings, named “Tintal,” were not registered among the 1,730 existing sites in the Archaeological Atlas of Tabasco, and further work was needed to determine the design of the area.
“At the moment, we do not have enough knowledge to confirm that it is a single settlement three kilometers long, coinciding with the project route, or if there are two small sites,” he said.
Rivera said further exploration of the site will increase its recognition and protection of the cocoa-rich Chontalpa region, which peaked between 600 and 900 AD in the Late Classical period.
INAH archaeologists are able to request modifications to the pipeline’s route and ask that heavy machinery not be used in the area in order to protect the newly found artifacts for future studies, Rivera added.