They find a thousand-year-old Mayan canoe in the excavations for the construction of the Mayan Train in Yucatan. Throughout the construction of the Mayan Train, various objects and bones are being found; this time, a nearly complete canoe, the first of its kind to be discovered. The boat was discovered in a pool of fresh water during the construction of a tourist train to the ruins of the Mayan city. A wooden canoe used by the ancient Mayans and believed to be more than 1,000 years old has turned up in southern Mexico almost completely intact, authorities said. The extremely rare canoe was found submerged in a freshwater pool known as a cenote, thousands of which dot Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near the ruins of Chichen Itza, once an important Mayan city with elaborately carved temples and towering pyramids. At just over 5 feet (1.6 meters) long and 2.5 feet (80 cm) wide, the canoe was possibly used to carry water from the cenote or deposit ritual offerings, according to a statement from the National Institute of Anthropology and History ( INAH). Archaeologists are reviewing the area to determine if they find more objects or bones.
(Photo: INAH) The institute described the extraordinary find as “the first complete canoe in the Maya area,” adding that experts from Sorbonne University in Paris will help with an analysis of the well-preserved wood to determine its age and type. A three-dimensional model of the vessel will also be commissioned, the statement added, to facilitate further study and enable replicas to be made. The canoe is tentatively dated between 830 and 950 AD. C. , near the end of the classical zenith of Maya civilization, when dozens of cities in modern-day southern Mexico and Central America prospered amid major human achievements in mathematics, writing, and art. It was found while workers building a tourist railway project, promoted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador , were inspecting the area surrounding the cenote. The pool is near a section of the project that will connect to Cancun, Mexico’s premier beach resort. López Obrador has portrayed the Mayan Train as tourist-friendly infrastructure that will help alleviate poverty in Mexico’s poorest southern states, while critics argue it risks damaging the region’s delicate ecosystems.