A tape measure extends next to a stone carving of a face half-buried in the ground among rocks and debris

“MAYAN TRAIN PROJECT: APPROVAL SECURED WITH NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL DAMAGE! INAH CONFIRMS”

The Mayan Train project has received complete approval and has not caused any harm to the archaeological heritage of the country, according to Diego Prieto, the head of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Prieto recently resumed his updates during a morning press conference on the progress of the archaeological recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the five states where the project will be implemented. He emphasized that these efforts have enabled specialists to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of the cultures that once inhabited these territories, as well as those that continue to reside there.

"We have been able to leverage this project to recover a vast amount of materials that provide valuable insights into the rich history of the great Mayan Mesoamerican nation," Prieto stated. He added that as the project progresses, the focus has shifted from intensive ground work to the analysis, classification, and arrangement of recovered materials, as well as the systematization of information to create interpretative frameworks.

According to Prieto, 62,024 construction elements such as roads, platforms, residential foundations, pyramidal structures, and other construction elements have been recovered and preserved. Additionally, 1,453,196 pottery fragments, known in Nahuatl as "tepalcate," have been recovered. These fragments provide information on migratory processes, stylistic frequencies, trade exchanges, and population density in the area.

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The team working on the Mayan Train project has also recovered 1,993 relatively intact artifacts, including grinding stones, mortars, vessels, figurines, blades, stone elements, and arrowheads. These items will be displayed in various museums that will be established in the territories traversed by the Mayan Train, which include Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.

Furthermore, the INAH has identified 701 human burials, many of which are associated with the presence of offerings, and 2,252 natural features associated with the presence of human groups. These include sinkholes, caves, flooded caves, agricultural lands, and water storage mechanisms.

Prieto also highlighted the ongoing work under the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (PROMEZA), which is currently active in 29 zones across the region. This includes one zone in Tabasco, one in Chiapas, four in Campeche, eleven in Yucatan, and eleven more in Quintana Roo.