The mask was temporarily reburied after its discovery, so that the structure is protected until it is properly examined and preserved.
A giant mask dating back to the Mayan civilization was found and recovered by Mexican archaeologists.
As pointed out by the researchers, the find was made in 2017, but scientists decided to tell about it only now. According to archaeologists, the discovery was not reported for the safety of the artifact itself. There was a risk that it could be reached and destroyed by “treasure hunters.”
Since then, researchers at the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) have reportedly worked painstakingly to restore it.
In the process of restoration and conservation, archaeologists strengthened the fragile parts of the mask, returned to their original position that had been displaced over time. In addition, the surface of the artifact was thoroughly cleaned, which made it possible to reveal all the patterns and even the preserved colors.
The mask is an image of the face of an unknown deity or “some very important person of that time.” The artifact is dated to the late pre-classical Maya period (about 300 BC – 250 AD).
“Masks like this represent the faces of people with special traits that can be associated with deities or persons of distinguished social status,” the INAH said in a statement.
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Scientists say that such Maya reliefs were usually placed around the stairs of pyramidal structures. Archaeologists have previously found similar artifacts at Acanceh and Izamal, but this is the first such case in Ucanha.