Mayan pyramid is among tallest ever found
July 18, 2015 | 4 comments
Tonina Chiapas is turning out to be a significant discovery. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Simon Burchell
A recently discovered pyramid in Mexico has turned out to be one of the largest ever Mayan constructions.
With a total of 208 stone steps leading up from its base the acropolis of Tonina Chiapas in southern Mexico is now thought to be of a comparable size to the famous Pyramid of the Sun in Teotichuacan.
When it was first discovered archaeologists had mistakenly believed that it was sitting on a hill but after further excavations it was realized that the structure itself is actually 75m in height.
"It’s a big surprise to see that the pyramid was done almost entirely by the architects and therefore is more artificial than natural," said site director Emiliano Gallaga.
"This is because it was believed that almost every hill was a natural mound, but recent evidence has revealed that it was almost entirely built by the ancient inhabitants."
Several artefacts have been uncovered at the site including a 1100-year-old stone sarcophagus and more than 300 hieroglyphic texts. Ancient writing on one wall has also revealed important new clues about one of the rulers of the city - a Mayan chief known as K’inich B’aaknal Chaahk.
"This wall is fundamental to understand a chapter of Tonina history between 680 and 715 AD, when the 6th seignior appears in the dynastic sequence of the site," said Dr Carlos Pallan Gayol.
"To present, it is known that K’inich B’aaknal Chaahk was the ruler with greater politic and hegemonic power in Tonina, a city known in its times as Po."
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