The Ministry of Culture, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), revealed the recent discovery of a circular structure in the archaeological zone of El Tigre, Campeche (Mexico).

According to Diego Prieto Hernández, director of INAH, this finding dates back to the late occupation period of the ancient Mayan settlement, between the years 1000 and 1200 AD, and could have had a ceremonial use related to the worship of the god Kukulcan.

The announcement was made during President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s morning press conference. Prior to detailing the discovery, Prieto Hernández announced that INAH would temporarily open the Historical Museum of Acapulco to support those affected by Hurricane Otis in Guerrero. This is part of the cultural sector’s solidarity efforts in response to the emergency.

The circular structure was located in El Tigre, municipality of Candelaria, Campeche, thanks to the efforts of the Archaeological Zone Improvement Program (Promeza). This program has enabled the creation of new paths and the renewal of signage at the site, as well as the construction of the Visitor Center.

The discovery consists of a two-level building that was originally crowned by a flat-roofed temple. It shares similarities with other structures in the Maya area, such as Edzná, Becán, and Chichén Itzá. Its significance lies in belonging to the Early Postclassic period (1000-1200 AD), when El Tigre had intense contacts with various regions of Mesoamerica.

According to anthropologist Ernesto Vargas Pacheco, director of the archaeological work, it is likely that the worship of Kukulcán reached El Tigre from the central highlands of Mexico, Oaxaca, or the Gulf Coast. Kukulcán was the Maya version of the Mexica deity Quetzalcóatl, associated with the wind (Ehécatl) and fertility.

In fact, colonial documents mention that El Tigre had temples dedicated to the main deities of the Postclassic period, including Kukulcán. This aligns with the location and characteristics of the site, leading to the proposal that El Tigre was the ancient Itzamkanac mentioned in historical chronicles.

Beyond this discovery, INAH reported progress in the conservation of archaeological sites near the route of the Maya Train. In Palenque, the renovation of paths and museums has been completed, while in Moral-Reforma, sign renewal has reached 90%. This is aimed at protecting and promoting heritage in anticipation of the train’s future inauguration.

Diego Prieto Hernández took the opportunity during the conference to report on other recent achievements of INAH in terms of registration and preservation. In just 2023, more than 2,600 immovable properties, 249 movable assets, 289,100 ceramic fragments, and 177 human remains have been documented, among other findings.


Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) de México

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