A second pyramid has been discovered at the famed Mayan Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza in Mexico, archaeologists have announced. Described as being like “nesting dolls,” the pyramids are set one within the other. And there could be more.
The Daily Mail reported this week that a non-invasive study using electrical imaging techniques revealed yet another Mayan pyramid inside the Temple of Kulkulkan, which is located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. According to the study, the smaller pyramid stands 32.8 feet (10 meters) high but is not in perfect alignment with the two outermost pyramids that rest atop it.
Archaeologists have known for quite some time that the ancient Temple of Kulkulcan was built on top of a smaller version of itself. The second, or intermediate, pyramid is believed to have been constructed in the 800 and 1000 C.E. The last pyramid, the structure visible to over a million tourists each year, was added sometime between 1050 and 1300 C.E. The newest find is believed to have been built, according to archaeologist Denisse Lorenia Argote of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, in the “pure Maya” style from between 500 and 800 C.E.
The scientists used “tri-dimensional electric resistivity tomography” to look inside the Temple of Kukulkan. The process involved using electric current, passed through electrodes placed along the outside of the pyramid into the structure, to measure resistance in the current flow to digitally map any existing structural formations inside.
University of California, San Diego, anthropology professor Geoffrey Braswell, noted that the three separate pyramids were akin to a Russian “nesting doll.” He said that at the bottom of it all, though, there might be even more platforms encapsulated within the Temple of Kukulkan.
Braswell, who was not involved in the project with Argote, has conducted research at Chichen Itza in the past. He said the discovery could be a new one but could also be part of a structure uncovered in the 1940s that was left unexplored due to the unstable nature of the access tunnel.
Last year, archaeologists discovered that the Temple of Kukulkan, which is also known as El Castillo (The Castle), was built over a subterranean river, or a cenote. The scientists used electrical imaging techniques to detect that feature as well.
The year has seen several revelations by archaeologists about Mayan ruins. As the Inquisitr reported in August, an ancient royal tomb was discovered that is believed to belong to a member of the “Snake Dynasty,” a dominant clan that presided over vast Mayan territories during its Classic Period (250 to 900 C.E.). Uncovered in Belize and constructed over a natural spring, the tomb descended some 26 feet (7.9 meters) underground and revealed what appeared to be a burial chamber of a Mayan ruler. The 1,300-year-old enclosure also held various artifacts, panels of hieroglyphics, and physical remains that are believed to be those of said Mayan ruler.
Earlier in the year, archaeologists working at the Mayan Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque in Mexico (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), revealed that they had uncovered a water tunnel complex inside the ancient pyramid. The Temple of Inscriptions is famous for its engraving of the ruler Pakal, thought by some to depict the Mayan as being seated in some form of spacecraft. However, the researchers at Palenque believe that Pakal’s strange conveyance was meant to take him on his journey through the waterways that led to the underworld. Mayans believed that the journey of life began and ended with water and many of the pyramid structures they erected were built over natural springs or subterranean bodies of water.
[Featured Image by f9photos/Shutterstock]