Mayan pot recovered from cave in Playa del Carmen

The vessel appeared to help "prepare chocolate and with ceramics" associated with the time period.

The INAH recovers a complete Mayan vessel from a cave in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. (photo credit: INAH/Handout via REUTERS)
The INAH recovers a complete Mayan vessel from a cave in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.
(photo credit: INAH/Handout via REUTERS)

A Mayan pot was recovered by specialists from the INAH Quintana Roo Center from a cave in the resort city Playa del Carmen in Mexico last week, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced on Monday.

The pot is a 13-centimeter high cacao pot that, according to the INAH, dates back to the Late Preclassical period - which is between 300 to 250 BCE. The vessel appeared to help "prepare chocolate and with ceramics" associated with the time period.

The cave where the artifact was found was owned by a religious association, and to access it, Urban Cenotes head Roberto Rojo Garcia reached an agreement with the institute to visit the cave.

The pot's description

The pot was complete upon its discovery "with its mouth facing north," according to INAH. In order to remove it, a "human chain" was needed to extract it without it taking damage once all topographic information was collected. 

"It presents a reddish coloration on the outside and a black engraving on the inside. Covered by calcium carbonates, a characteristic of the objects recovered in caves," explained archaeologist Antonio Reyes.

 The INAH recovers a complete Mayan vessel from a cave in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. (credit: INAH/Handout via REUTERS) The INAH recovers a complete Mayan vessel from a cave in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. (credit: INAH/Handout via REUTERS)

The vessel was transferred to the Mayan Museum of Cancun in storage. That way, archaeologists would be able to examine and inspect the artifact more efficiently.

"It presents a reddish coloration on the outside and a black engraving on the inside. Covered by calcium carbonates, a characteristic of the objects recovered in caves."

Antonio Reyes