Mysterious Pyramid Discovered Deep Within Ancient Chichen Itza Temple

© AP Photo / Israel LealPeople gather in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
People gather in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 - Sputnik International
A small pyramid structure was discovered inside the temple of Kukulkan in the legendary city of Chichen Itza.

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The discovery was made by US and Mexican archaeologists working in the temple complex using the electrical resistivity tomography method.

This is a third such structure discovered within the Kukulkan temple as the presence of a second pyramid within the main structure was confirmed by archaeologists back in 1940.

The pyramid, which dates back to 500-800 A.D., was encapsulated within the 'intermediate' pyramid during the final stages of the temple’s construction; it stands about 10 meters tall and apparently has stairs and an altar in its upper part, according to Terra.

"If we can study this structure in the future, it may let us learn more about the first population of this place and understand how the settlement evolved," archaeologist Denisse Lorenia Argote said.

Geoffrey Braswell, a professor of anthropology at the University of California at San Diego, pointed out that while the archaeologists may have indeed found a new structure, the pyramid in question may in fact be the one that was already found by researchers in 1940s. He also likened the Kukulkan pyramid to a Russian nesting doll, with each of the temple’s layer encapsulating another, but pointed out that the bottom layer may in fact conceal more than one structure within.

And while the newly discovered structure has already been mapped, it remains unclear exactly when archaeologists will attempt to excavate it, or what they might find inside.

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