27 JUN 2012: Purple accent walls and expansive metallic tile work grace the interior of the new RIU Peninsula Palace in Cancun, but the funky decor belies a structure on the property of historical significance. The Ta’akul archeological site is tucked between the main building and the beach, protected by a white cover as fitting as the umbrellas shading the chaise lounges around the pool.
When the RIU team inquired about the Cancun property to build their 17th Mexican resort they were informed of the buried Mayan rubble on the site. Their success in purchasing the land was based on their commitment to protecting the site.
Ta’akul is the Mayan word for “what remains hidden” and once the excavation began it was discovered that there were enough stones to be preserved and reconstructed.
The ceramic materials indicate that the site was inhabited during the Early Classic Period (300 – 600 AD), the Late Classic Period (600 – 900 AD) and years later, during the Late Post-Classic Period (1200 – 1550 AD).
Once the excavation was completed according to the specifications of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the RIU people were able to move forward with the planning and placement of the public gardens on the property.
The Mayan structure provides an interesting point of view from the balconies, but visitors on the ground are prevented from actually crossing the site, ensuring that the historical materials enjoy further longevity.