Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Archaeologists with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History have found what they believe is an ancient, jungle Mayan city at least 1,000 years old near Cancun, officials said.
The discovery was made in Tizimín in Yucatan state, about 80 miles due west of Cancun, the institute said.
Researchers found the ruins while doing conservation work in the area, and said the Mayan palace is believed to date as far back as 1050 B.C., toward the end of the terminal classic period. The structure was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Kuluba.
Scientists said the palace is 180 feet long, 50 feet wide and 20 feet high.
Kuluba shares ties with other important Mayan cities like Ek' Balam and Chichen Itza as the civilization controlled large regions that are now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
"From data and the Chichen-like ceramic materials and obsidian [found at Kuluba] we can infer that it became an enclave [under the control] of Chichen Itza," archaeologist Alfredo Barrera Rubio said.
The institute said archaeologists want to research additional areas around Kuluba's central square, where ruins of residential buildings, an altar and an oven have already been found but not yet investigated.
Restoration work in Kuluba began last year and the site is scheduled to open to the public in the near future.