Experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the University of Arizona (UA) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) found the 6-step staircase which reveals El Palmar had contacts with Calakmul, in Campeche, and Copan, Honduras, almost 1300 years ago.
Project leaders announced that the stairway conserves 90 blocks with more than 130 hieroglyphs that refer to events registered in the Classic Maya period (250-900 CE), Artdaily reported.
Javier Lopez Camacho and Kenichiro Tsukamoto also said that despite other stairways that are generally linked to monumental buildings at the central area of ancient sites, the one found at El Palmar is related to the periphery of the site and small structures.
According to the two archeologists, the first 4 steps were in good shape, while the 5th and 6th were in parts and needed to be restored.
Epigraphist Octavio Esparza Olguin, who studied the hieroglyphs, believes the texts narrates a visit paid by foreign people, maybe dignitaries, to El Palmar, and the steps were carved on September 13th, 726 CE.
The inscriptions also contain Information about the lords of the site, as well as visits by lords of Copan and Calakmul, the cities which kept contact with El Palmar before being defeated, respectively, by Tikal and Quirigua (Guatemala) between 736 and 738 CE.
El Palmar excavations also yielded a burial with an offering which dates back to the time when the stairway was constructed in 8th century CE.
The skeletal remains were found along with two vessels and other bones. Preliminary analyses conducted by physical anthropologist Jessica Cerezo-Roman suggests that the remains belong to a high-rank male.