Archeologists in Mexico have uncovered a large palace likely used by the Mayan elite more than 1,000 years ago in the ancient city of Kuluba.
The country’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said the building, measuring six metres (20ft) tall, 55 metres (180ft) long and 15 metres (49ft) wide, was thought to have been inhabited between 600-1050 AD.
It was found as scientists explore reforesting much of Kaluba to protect it from wind and sun damage.
Kaluba is a key pre-Hispanic site, located in Mexico’s Yucatan state near Cancun.
It had important ties with the Maya cities of Ek’ Balam and Chichen Itza as the civilisation ruled large swathes of what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
The INAH said there were several other areas of interest around the palace, located in Kuluba’s central square.
An altar, remnants of two residential buildings and a round structure, believed to be an oven, have been located but not fully explored.
A member of the team, Alfredo Barrera, said: “This work is the beginning, we’ve barely began uncovering one of the most voluminous structures on the site.”
The INAH hoped to open up the site to members of the public in the coming months.