At casa Colorada Conjunct, at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, a group of specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conduct excavations to verify the origin of the ancient Maya city, parting from a hieroglyphic inscription that refers to the year 869 AD, date that could precise the occupation period before the peak of this site, between 1000 and 1100 AD.


The inscription consists of a stylized strip with glyphs located at the start of the vault of Casa Colorada building, which presents a good conservation state. In a preliminary way, archaeologists have identified information related to important Maya characters such as Chichen Itza and Ek Balam rulers, as well as the construction date of the temple.

“The important piece of information is the date 869 AD that implies the year of construction of the conjunct as well as a complete sequence of the earliest occupation of the site, towards the end of Late Classic period (between 800 and 850 AD)”, informed archaeologist Francisco Osorio Leon.

The INAH specialist, in charge of the Research and Integral Restoration of Casa Colorada Conjunct Project, added that this architectural conjunct is integrated by 4 buildings distributed around a central platform, where a stele with inscriptions was located as well.  

“We think that the 2.3 meters high stele was displayed at the center of the platform. The only stele found to present at Chichen Itza was fragmented, maybe during a battle.   

“The stele is essential in the site’s study, since it counts with a series of hieroglyphs that unfortunately have not been completely deciphered”, declared Osorio Leon, adding that  the deciphering of hieroglyphs and the results of ceramic material analyses may date the building between 800 and 850 AD.

Verification of such date as well as research at Serie Inicial Conjunct, would represent enough evidence to precise one of the first occupation periods in the ancient Maya city, before the flowering of Chichen Itza as a great city, besides complementing the chronological panorama.

Recently, new excavations began in different Casa Colorada Conjunct structures, such as the central platform, a colonnade and the building Casa del Venado, which conserves atop a series of vaulted rooms.

Osorio Leon mentioned restoration work at a ballgame court (the 10th found at Chichen Itza) and the construction that names the conjunct is being conducted at the same time as excavations.

“This is the main structure in the conjunct: it is nearly 15 meters high and has a staircase. A vault with 3 accesses is found atop. The main façade presents merlons with big-nosed deities and decorative figureheads associated to Chaac, Maya god of rain, typical at Puuc Region”.  

“Conservation state is excellent, and the relevance of our research relies in the possibility of completing a chronological occupation panorama of Chichen Itza site”, commented the INAH archaeologist who works in this project with Francisco Perez Ruiz, Mariza Carrillo, Dulce Gongora and Rocio Gonzalez.

About archaeological material found to present, in process of analysis and register, he mentioned they are mainly ceramic fragments of Cehpech type at the Maya site,  distinguished from the most popular at the site for have being manufactured with foreign material and by its’  red-on-buff colors.