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Just when you think you know all there is to know about a place, a new pyramid is unearthed. Last week, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza was the location of some important architectural discoveries – a new, smaller pyramid has been found couched within the iconic Kukulkan temple.
A team of US and Mexican archaeologists have recently been undertaking electrical imaging work on the famed ancient Mayan site and it was this that confirmed the presence of a smaller pyramid hidden within the walls of Kukulkan.
However, it’s not the first time a separate, smaller pyramid has been found hidden within. In fact, in 1940, archaeologists confirmed the existence of a second pyramid, thus making this the third in the series, albeit the first that is slightly misaligned. It seems Kukulkan’s reputation as the matryoshka doll of Mexican archaeology is cemented, particularly considering speculation that there may be even more smaller pyramids within the most recently discovered one.
Yet while some experts have claimed that the ‘newly’ discovered structure may just be the one first discovered in 1940, others assert that the use of more accurate electrical imaging technology all but confirms the fact that this is a smaller pyramid hidden within the two that are already known about.
Archaeologists are hopeful that future studies of this newly discovered, approximately 10-metre-tall pyramid structure can tell them far more about the evolution of the settlers and settlement that once called the famed city of Chichen Itza home.
Representatives from the Mexico National Institute of Anthropology and History even believe that this smaller pyramid may well be in the ‘pure Maya’ style of the 500-800AD period from which it is roughly said to date.
Plans to excavate have not yet been decided upon, due to the likelihood that damage would be caused to both the interior and exterior of the existing structure itself. However, if the date estimations are correct regarding the new discovery, it could well be considered Chichen Itza’s oldest edifice.