Washington, May 29 (ANI): Archaeologists, excavating the ancient Maya river port in Southeast Mexico, have found 23 artifacts from about 600 BC, thus strengthening the historic importance of the Maya city of Moral-Reforma.
According to a report in Art Daily, the archaeological site, which is 87 hectares (217 acres) in size, is located adjacent to the ranching community of Reforma.
The community belongs to the municipality of Balancan, which in Maya means "place of tigers and serpents," and it is located 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco.
Benito Lopez, one of the two experts heading the excavation, said that Moral-Reforma functioned as a port or bartering spot for other Maya cities in the present-day states of Campeche and Chiapas, and in neighboring Guatemala.
Running together near the ruins are the Usumacinta River - Mexico's largest - and the San Pedro River, a communications route with southern Mexico.
"The hypothesis tells us that this zone could have been a route for those who were seeking to trade," said Lopez at the site, where the temperature reaches 45 C (113 F) at this time of year.
The first investigatory work was done on the main structures at the Maya port 17 years ago, and some of the principal monuments have been restored, among them a traditional ball court and three buildings.
Five stone stelae with inscriptions, some complete and others just fragmentary, from the area are currently exhibited at the museum in Balancan and the Carlos Pellicer Museum in Villahermosa.
The team of archaeologists for the past three months has been investigating one of the two main levels of the most important building, a pyramid covered with soil that rises in the extreme northern part of the Indian city and resembles the ruins of Calakmul in Campeche.
When one climbs up the first 15 steps of the pyramid, one can see a series of altars discovered in recent weeks which "surely were painted and plastered," according to Lopez.
Masks, small sculptures, stones, spear points and heads painted green comprise the 23 pieces unearthed in the area adjacent to the pyramid.
"This morning, we found another little face of a person. These pieces are of limestone, flint, the same material with which the pyramids are made," said Lopez.
The pieces found to date were sent to the Villahermosa office of Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute for restoration. (ANI)