Mayan archaeologists witnessed a “watershed” moment when they discovered the remains of an ancient royal palace, proving the existence of a “huge, previously unknown community”.
Famous for their architecture, mathematics and astronomical beliefs, the Maya date back more than 4,000 years, to what is believed to be the cradle of their civilisation in Guatemala. But the ancient “forgotten” town on Kiuic is now starting to question that theory. First documented in the 19th century, the settlement in the Mexican state of Yucatan was at the centre of an incredible find when a temple was uncovered by modern-day archaeologist Dr George Bey.
But his team revealed during the National Geographic documentary “Lost World of the Maya”, how the discovery of parts of an ancient mask raised a previously unexpected theory.
The series explained: “The ancient Maya often attached sculptures like these to the facades of royal buildings. It’s a watershed clue and further excavation reveals the corner of a building.”
“It consists of three buildings – a temple on one side, the royal family’s residential quarters on the other and a throne room in the middle.”
But why would the king of Kiuic build a pyramid on top of a palace?
The city of Kiuic was abandoned by civilization 1,200 years ago, but Dr. Bey explained why the discovery could prove that the site was once serving a much greater purpose.
It is strange that the pyramid discovered by the team dates back to the year 800 AD, and an analysis of pottery fragments confirmed that the foundation under the pyramid was 300 years older.
Dr. Bey thinks that the first king of Kiuic, and perhaps even the founder of the royal dynasty in the city, was the one who built the palace. Centuries later, another king built a pyramid on top of his ancestors’ house, making direct contact with the previous authority and consolidating his authority. More wonderful for another reason, as it was not the king who built the pyramid from the south, but a descendant of a royal family that had been in Kiuic for a very long time.
Dr. Bey said he could question everything archaeologists think they know. “We don’t really know where the Maya community was cradled anymore. What we are learning is that there may have been many cradles of this civilization”.
- Nat Geo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MFKy7DJsCY&t=13s