Ever notice how grand the descriptions get after a destination or attraction achieves UNESCO World Heritage status? In the case of the Joya de Ceren pre-Columbian Mayan archaeological site, that description is The Pompeii of The Americas. Let’s see.
The Joya de Ceren archaeological site
Like Pompeii, the small city here was buried under 20 feet (6 meters) of ash in AD 529, and residents left behind a treasure trove of everyday items. However, the citizens here had enough time to escape and no human remains were found at Joya de Ceren, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, so it lacks that creepy feeling of witnessing the final moments of life which you get when you visit Pompei.
Discovered by accident in 1979 and made a UNESCO site in 1993, many of the household and farming items unearthed here are now on display in the interesting on-site museum and they’re a welcome change from the usual pottery shards.
Like Pompeii, the Joya de Ceren site really does offer a glimpse of how the people lived. At most archaeological sites only the royal dwellings and temples remain since they were made of stone. But because Joya de Ceren was preserved under ash, even the mud and twig dwellings of the citizenry remain.
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Here’s more about Archaeological Sites
What a shame about the cement! Hopefully they’re able to take it off without damaging the original ruins too much.
Wow real shame about the concrete – it makes it look like ruins from the 1960’s or 70’s…
Had never heard of the “Pompeii of the Americas” but I’m intrigued now, on the list! :-)
Covering stuff in concrete is certainly one way to preserve it for the generations. I’m not sure it’s the most aesthetic option. And as for the flowery descriptions that accompany UNESCO status – it’s not just the UNESCO sights that are at it! There’s a town near me which bills itself as the Venice of France. It’s very nice and all, but a bit of water does not make Venice….
Beautiful ruins but sad to see what happened here.
I’m glad to read that the inhabitants were able to get out before their homes were covered in ash. I enjoyed seeing your photos of how non-rich people lived, but I’m a little stuck on the Mayan translation of the name. Sounds like it was a tough town to live in!
That is horrible they were ruined by cement.
We were just in Pompeii a few weeks ago. Loved the history that was preserved and amazing they have managed to discover the entire city.