PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum's History

July 12, 2024
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PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum's History

PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum’s History

The Tulum-Chetumal Rail project nears completion as INAH's salvage efforts uncover Mayan treasures. Tramo 6 at 99.7%, Promeza enhancing visitor experience, and Muyil site renovations.
PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum's History

TULUM, Quintana Roo – The highly-anticipated Tramo 6 of the Tren Maya project, connecting the picturesque town of Tulum with the vibrant city of Chetumal in Quintana Roo, is on the verge of completion, with less than a kilometer remaining. The Mexican Government’s Secretariat of Culture, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), has been diligently carrying out archaeological salvage work along the railway route, and these efforts are soon to be fully concluded.

During a recent morning press conference led by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Diego Prieto Hernández, the Director General of INAH, revealed that the necessary approvals for the construction of Tramo 6 have been granted, following the successful clearance for Tramos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. The progress made on this particular stretch is an impressive 99.7 percent.

“The Tren Maya has presented us with a unique opportunity to conduct the most extensive archaeological salvage research in the history of our country. Through this endeavor, we aim to generate new insights into the civilizations and cultures that flourished in the southeastern region of Mexico, as well as unravel the linguistic, social, geographic, and economic diversity that characterized the ancient Maya civilization,” remarked Prieto Hernández.

PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum's History

The anthropologist expressed his admiration for the specialists collaborating with Fonatur, the National Defense Secretariat, and the consortium of constructors, among other entities, in their joint efforts to recover the archaeological heritage along the Tren Maya’s route. He also highlighted the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), which seeks to enhance the visitor experience, research capabilities, and conservation measures for 26 sites located near the railway.

As of June 22, 2023, the following elements have been registered and preserved within the scope of the project: 53,568 immovable properties, including platforms, defensive walls, levelings, foundations, and residential units; 1,111,608 ceramic fragments; 1,844 movable objects such as metates (grinding stones) and figurines; 765 vessels; 597 human remains; and 1,348 natural structures, including caves, cenotes, and partially submerged caverns, all associated with human presence in ancient times.

Prieto Hernández also shared updates on the ongoing work at the Muyil Archaeological Zone in Quintana Roo, carried out within the framework of Promeza. These activities encompass the investigation and preservation of archaeological structures, as well as the improvement of services for visitors.

Among these actions, the site’s signage is being renewed, the parking area is being expanded, and a new tourist entrance and reception unit are being constructed. Furthermore, an introductory room is being set up to provide a more immersive experience of this ancient pre-Hispanic settlement located 20 kilometers from the historic city of Tulum, within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

PROMEZA, the Most Extensive Archaeological Investigation in Tulum's History

Lastly, it was mentioned that Muyil, also known as Chunyaxché, owes its name to one of the nearby lagoons. Its economy relied on fishing and the utilization of the surrounding jungle lands. The occupation of the site dates back to the Late Preclassic period (300-50 BC) and extends through the Late Postclassic period (1200-1450 AD).

With the Tramo 6 of the Tren Maya nearing completion, and the remarkable archaeological discoveries unearthed during its construction, the project stands as a testament to Mexico’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural heritage while promoting sustainable tourism in the region.

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