Tourists wearing look masks are seen astatine Chichen Itza archaeological tract successful Mexico connected March 5, 2021. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY—Mexican experts said Thursday they person detected the ruins of astir 2,500 pre-Hispanic structures and 80 burial sites connected conscionable one-sixth of the way of the president’s arguable “Maya Train” task connected the Yucatan peninsula.
Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History did not accidental whether immoderate of the remains were disturbed oregon destroyed by the bid project, which successful immoderate places runs alongside existing obstruction lines. It described the ruins arsenic being “on the borderline of the project.”
Potential harm to the situation and archaeological sites are immoderate of the reasons wherefore critics reason the task pushed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The finds scope from pottery and elemental chromatic outlines of thatched pre-Hispanic Maya homes to ceremonial platforms. Archaeologists said they were peculiarly impressed by the find of 2 ceramic vessels with handles oregon bases successful the signifier of quality breasts.
The sites were detected connected the first, 140-mile (228-kilometer) agelong of the 950-mile (1,500- kilometer) bid enactment that volition tally successful a unsmooth loop astir Yucatan. That archetypal agelong runs from the Mayan ruins of Palenque to the road crossroad astatine Escarcega.
The archetypal 4 stages of the bid task tally done areas that were astir apt intensely occupied by the Mayas, who formed a sprawling empire of city-states crossed the Yucatan and Central America betwixt 2000 B.C. and A.D. 900. Their descendants inactive unrecorded connected the peninsula.
The 5th and sixth stretches tally on the resort-studded Caribbean coast. But the seventh and last agelong that runs adjacent the jungle ruin tract of Calakmul whitethorn besides output precocious numbers of finds.
No contiguous reports were disposable connected however galore artifacts had been recovered connected the different stretches of the task truthful far.
Experts already knew astir the beingness of immoderate of the sites announced Thursday, but immoderate are new.
The bid is intended to link Caribbean formation resorts to the peninsula’s interior, with mostly indigenous populations and ruin sites, successful a bid to stimulate economical improvement astir its 15 stations. The authorities says it volition outgo arsenic overmuch arsenic $6.8 billion, but others accidental it volition beryllium overmuch more.
Critics accidental López Obrador rammed done the task without capable survey of its effects connected the environment, underground sinkhole caves known arsenic cenotes, and ruin sites.
Some stretches of the way already person tracks, and the institute said immoderate artefacts had already been disturbed by railway operation decades ago. But different stretches are to propulsion done delicate jungle terrain, though they volition parallel existing roads oregon transmission lines. Even wherever an aged railway enactment exists, the task would connote updating tracks and gathering caller stations.
Some Mayan communities person filed tribunal challenges against the project, arguing it volition origin biology damage. They besides accidental they were not adequately consulted astir it oregon they volition not stock successful its benefits.