New York: An ancient settlement, including 30 skeletons and the ruins of a pyramid, believed to be up to 2,000 years old, has been unearthed in Mexico.
The discovery was made during construction work in eastern Mexico. Clay figurines, jade beads, mirrors and animal remains have also been found in the site of the graves in the town of Jaltipan, southeast of Veracruz, according to the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH).
Researchers believe the settlement was occupied from around the first century AD until AD 600 or 700. However, little is known about the people who lived there.
"All that is known so far is that of the 30 burials, two at least belong to infants," said archaeologist Alfredo Delgado.
Deer antlers and bones that may belong to dogs, coyotes, deer, fish and birds were buried with the bodies, perhaps as animal companions for the underworld, the researchers said.
There`s also evidence that the inhabitants of the site were fossil collectors; among the numerous prehistoric remains were the fossilised teeth of a long extinct Megalodon-type shark.
The artifacts found at the site represent more than one culture. Some figurines and brickwork look Mayan, while there was also pottery that looks like it came from ancient city of Teotihuacan, the researchers said.
The pyramid found on a hill near the burials is made of stone slabs and stretches 12 metres tall and looks Mayan or Tajin in style, they said.
The researchers said they also discovered bricks in Jaltipan resembling those found at Comacalco, a Mayan city 120 kilometres away in the Tabasco region.