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More than 1,000 years old: Archaeologists discover ruins of ancient Mayan palace

A general view shows the cleaning the stucco of the Temple of the U, located in the archaelogy area of Kuluba, in Tizimin, Yucatan state, Mexico in this handout photograph released to Reuters by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) on December 24, 2019. INAH - National Institute of Anthropology and History/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

MEXICO — A Mayan palace dating back more than 1,000 years was discovered by archeologists in Mexico.

The ruins were found in the Kuluba archaeological zone in the Mexican state of Yucatán, about 63 miles west Cancún, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

The building is about 6 meters (19 feet) high, 55 meters (180 feet) long and 15 meters (49 feet) wide, the INAH said.

Experts think the building was used by priests and government officials during two eras of the Mayan civilization.

“This work is the beginning,” said archeologist Alfredo Barrera in a video. “We’ve barely began uncovering one of the most voluminous structures on the site.”

Barrera said his team wants to learn more about how Mayans lived in this southeast area of Mexico. Mexican archeologists don’t know much about that aspect of the civilization.

The INAH said the architecture, ceramic and mural techniques in the palace appear to be similar to those in the Chichen Itza, a Mayan settlement in Yucatán that is believed to date back to the 5th century AD. Chichen Itza is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to the palace, archeologists discovered a temple, residential buildings and other stone structures, the INAH said.

The Mayans were a Mesoamerican civilization that flourished across Mexico and Central America from 2000 BC to the time of the Spanish Conquistadores.

Kuluba, the archeological site were the palace was found, is not open to the public yet pending more restoration work.

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