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Ancient Maya Grave Found During Rail Project Construction

Archaeology Tools InternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyThe grave, which could be more than 1,000 years old, was unearthed alongside the construction of the multibillion-dollar Maya Train project in southern Mexico. Mexican archeologists recently discovered richly adorned skeletal remains in a grave thought to be over 1,000 years old, said the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The discovery was made in combination with the Maya Train project planned for southern Mexico that will include new hotels along its route.The grave was discovered in Mexico’s Palenque, home to one of the ancient Maya civilizations largest and most sophisticated urban centers, and features towering temples as well as a vast palace compound. The city was most active between 300 and 900 AD.The remains were found in a stone box sealed with limestone slabs, which also held three ceramic vessels, ear flares and a pair of greenstone beads. The decorated remains are thought to belong to an elite member of the city.According to INAH director Diego Prieto Hernández, the individual was buried face up with their head facing north. A team will conduct further tests in order to assess when the individual died as well as other possible characteristics.The Maya Train Project is being designed in part to help tourists access the ancient Mayan sites as well as beach resorts like Cancun and Tulum. It is one of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s biggest economic priorities, and archeologists and conservationists are toiling to complete their excavations so construction on the project will not be delayed.The train’s route will be about 965 miles (1,554 kilometers) long and will run through the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. It will include six new hotels including one in Palenque, Chiapas. The railway, which is reported to be around $27.7 billion (480 billion pesos) is set to open in December.

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