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Ocomtún: how opportune

Magically, as our technology gets better (forget TikTok and Facebook for now) the layers of our earth are – in the capable hands of archeologists – gently peeled back to go forth into the past, telling us more about ourselves. Sometimes the news is not good: humans have a habit of destroying each other without even meeting face-to-face, which feels like it should be the behavior of savaged and knuckle-draggers but, no; it is also our world today, and it’s not getting any better, in our eyes. But let’s put today’s misery aside to learn about another civilization that has much to offer.

Recently, archaeologist Ivan Šprajc and his team located the remains of an ancient, abandoned Maya city that was home to a collection of pyramid-shaped structures reaching up more than 15m huddled deep within Mexico’s Balamkú Ecological Conservation Zone. He named the site Ocomtún (“stone column” in Yucatec Mayan) after the many cylindrical columns also scattered throughout the settlement. Pottery examined from the site indicates it was likely inhabited between 600 and 800 CE. 

Ocomtún is an ancient Late Classic city located on the Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican state of Campeche. Archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History announced the discovery of the city in June 2023, after finding the ruins of several pyramid structures measuring approximately 15 m (49 ft 2+1⁄2 in) in height in a relatively unexplored area of the state. Analysis of pottery fragments found in the area indicate the area was inhabited by the Maya people between 600 CE and 800 CE, and that the city fell into ruin in around 1000 CE, coinciding with the Classic Maya collapse. Archaeologists named the site Ocomtún after the Mayan word for stone column. Read more here courtesy of Smithsonian. Some content courtesy of

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