Guatemala City Feature

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Kaminaljuyú

Who says you can't find Mayan ruins in the metropolitan area? From 300 BC to AD 900, an early Mayan city of some 50,000 people flourished in what is now the heart of Zona 7 in one of Guatemala City's many gorges. What you can see today, about 100 mounds and platforms, is but a fraction of the original city, most of which is buried beneath today's urban sprawl. Excavation of this impressive site, which includes the bases of several pyramids, began in 1925, when a local soccer team dug into the ground to expand its practice field. Many of the figurines and artifacts originally unearthed were thought to be associated with burial, leading authorities to dub the site with its present name, a Quiché term meaning "hills of the dead." No one knows for sure what the city was originally called. Many of the objects found here are now on display at the Museo Popol Vuh.

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