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Archaeologists find Late Preclassic pot on private Playa del Carmen property

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Archaeologists have located a complete 13-cm-high chocolate pot, which has been dated to the Late Preclassic period (300 BC-250 AD). The finding was made on a private property of Playa del Carmen by members of the Cenotes Urbanos project.

In their statement, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), reported the finding of a Mayan chocolate-type vessel inside a cave located in the urban area of Playa del Carmen.

According to archaeologists José Antonio Reyes Solís and Enrique Terrones González, attached to the INAH Quintana Roo Center, it was from a report presented to the institute by the person in charge of the Urban Cenotes project in Playa del Carmen, biologist Roberto Rojo García.

The natural cave formation, which has been named Cueva de la Cruz, had already been mapped by speleologists from the aforementioned project, who shared its plans with the archaeologists.

Thus, explains Antonio Reyes, the heritage asset was located near the eastern wall of the cave partially submerged in soft sediment, since there is a mirror of water in the cave that tends to fill up in the rainy season.

The vessel was found complete. Once the photographic record was made in situ and the planimetric information of the piece was gathered, it was removed after which the surrounding area was searched to locate any associated element, however, the space it occupied was immediately flooded by water that seeped from the ground, which prevented detailed reviews in such a small environment.

“After these actions, the element was transferred to the collections warehouse of the Mayan Museum of Cancun where the archaeologists were able to deepen their inspections and define that the vessel measures 13 cm in height by 16 cm in diameter in its body and 17 cm in diameter,” they explained in their statement.

“It has a reddish color on the outside and a black slip on the inside, which is partially covered by calcium carbonates, something characteristic of materials recovered in caves. Likewise, we observe that its decoration seems to provide a phytomorphic image, similar to a pumpkin,” archaeologist Antonio Reyes abounds.

Although it lacks a spout-bridge handle, it has been associated with chocolate-type vessels, ceramic productions associated with the Late Preclassic period (300 BC-250 AD), hence it becomes relevant for the study of the early groups that populated the region of what is now Quintana Roo.