Possible foremost pyramid of Kukulkan discovered at Mayan site in Chichen Itza

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Evidence for the foremost structure, built underneath the later two construction phases of the pyramid of Kukulkan has been discovered by researchers at Chichen Itza.

Archaeologists, using methods of electrical imaging discovered that the pyramid, also know as “El Castillo” was built on an underground river or cenote. Cenotes and subterranean natural voids are often associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and were used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.

The research team used tri-dimensional electric resistivity tomography (ERT) 3D which is a geophysical technique for imaging sub-surface structures from electrical resistivity measurements.

They detected evidence for a smaller structure within the pyramid that measures around 10 metres in height, compared to the 20+ meter tall encasing pyramids. Dr Denisse Lorenia Argote of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, said this first structure may be in the “pure Maya” style from between 500 and 800 A.D.


El Castillo served as a temple to the god Kukulkan, the Yucatec Maya Feathered Serpent deity closely related to the god Quetzalcoatl known to the Aztecs and other central Mexican cultures of the Postclassic period.

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