Mexico Travel Guide
Mayan Cave Treasures

Three treasures left by the Mayans discovered in a cave

Rutopía editorial team
Rutopía editorial team
- min read

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Time passes and the Mayan culture is becoming more and more interesting, not only because of the great legacy it left –architecture, mathematics, astronomy– but also because the mysteries that surround it gradually emerge from the jungle trees. From time to time, archaeologists find something, an object, a temple, a pyramidal base, that reveals a small part of everything that these original people were.

Each small encounter seems to be a piece of a puzzle that leads us to understand how they lived, what they valued and especially why one day they dispersed to become a legend.

Regarding the above, on December 7, 2021, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) confirmed the discovery of three archaeological pieces of Mayan origin that were found in Chemuyil, a municipality of Quintana Roo. This immense discovery will allow researchers to have a better understanding of the Mayan culture and the activities they carried out during their time of expansion.

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What pieces were found?

The INAH reported the discovery of two vessels and a tripod bowl. These objects date from the Late Postclassic Maya stage, located between the years 1200-1500 AD.

The vessel only needed one of the two handles it originally had. Meanwhile, the pot that was found was fragmented, since apparently the root of a tree pressed it against some rocks.

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The third piece found was a tripod bowl, a type of pottery used to prepare and serve food, as well as to perform various types of ceremonies. This artifact was found face down, covered with stones. According to experts, the way in which it was found shows that in this place there was an offering dedicated to the Mayan gods. On some occasions these vessels were used in the ritual collection of water.


Where was the discovery found?

As mentioned above, the pieces were found in the vicinity of the town of Chemuyil in Quintana Roo inside a natural cave. This territory, located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is part of an extensive region in which there are numerous natural caverns, which are believed to have been used by the Mayans to perform ceremonies. In that sense, these findings help confirm the importance of these formations for the Mayans, who apparently used them not only to worship their gods, but also to carry out some activities of daily life.



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In the meantime, the recovered pieces are being treated at the Mayan Museum of Cancun where, surely, we will soon be able to visit them.

How was the discovery made?

On November 20, some members of the Mayab Speleological Circle civil association and the Urban Cenotes Project of Playa del Carmen, an organization in charge of registering and mapping the caves in the region, found them during one of their many explorations. They immediately contacted the corresponding authorities.




If you want to know more about the Mayan culture and Chemuyil, check:

The water path, the cenotes of Chemuyil.

Ek Balam: Get Inside the mayan community.

National Museum of Anthropology.

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