Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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A City Beneath a City

Under the streets of Guatemala’s bustling capital lies another, much older city: the Maya metropolis of Kaminaljuyú. A small sample of the ancient city’s mounds and plazas can be seen today in an “archaeological park” on Guatemala City’s north side. Since the 1930s, archaeologists have excavated pyramids, staircases, hundreds of ceremonial stone markers known as steles, and millions of ceramic sherds—all testament to a big town that waxed and waned over 1,500 years of history. Here are some scenes from the rediscovery of Kaminaljuyú.