The Finding of 47 human burials from the 16th century in the archaeological zone of San Miguelito (recently opened), reveal the last moments of pre-Hispanic times of this ancient Mayan settlement on the east coast, characterized by hunger and crisis, derived from the conquest and colonization campaigns during that century.
These burials were found inside 11 houses that were excavated by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and 30 burials of these correspond to children between three and six years of age, who died from malnutrition and acute anemia.
The archaeologist Sandra Elizalde, responsible for the project, reported that “the study indicates that there was a high infant mortality rate, caused by poor health conditions and malnutrition in a very impoverished population of the 16th century”. These burials were found by various archaeological explorations carried out in different places of this Mayan site of the post-classical era (1200-1550).
Adriana Velázquez Morlet, archaeologist and director of the INAH Center in Quintana Roo, stated that “the discoveries in San Miguelito show the last days of life in pre-Hispanic times, as well as allowing us to discover the life of the Mayans at that time”.
Thanks to the works, two stages have been identified in the history of San Miguelito: “The first is found between the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Mayans settled in the region (1200 - 1350 AD), at which time the most important buildings were built and there was great prosperity due to the exploitation of marine resources and sowing ”. “This lasted until the arrival of the conquerors, at which point the second stage begins, that of crisis, which resulted in a total abandonment of the region.”.
Regarding the remaining 17 burials, Sandra Elizalde expressed that some skeletons belong to adults, while others have yet to be identified as they are highly fragmented. He added that: "two of the 17 burials were placed in ceramic urns, some others were simply found buried along with some objects such as deer antlers, knives and projectiles."
In San Miguelito, about 40 buildings have been registered, of which 14 of them have been restored so that they can be visited by the public. Regarding the structures themselves, all were distributed in five architectural complexes, of which the main one is The Great Pyramid, eight meters high by 12 meters wide.
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