Occupied from about 450 to 1150 A.D., the two homes revealed about a dozen human remains of men, women and children with artifacts arranged around and on top of the bodies.
According to the researcher, those who were domestically interred were family members who died closest to calendrical rites every 40 or 52 years or at the time, every 20-30 years, in which houses needed to be re-roofed.
Indeed, burial in the home was a major event.
"After the funeral rites, the house and what it contained were destroyed and burned. The ceremonial destruction provided the basis for the new house," Lucero said.
To provide ballast for a new plaster floor, the Maya used broken and whole vessels, colorful ceramic fragments, animal bones and rocks. All items were symbolically arranged.
"The Maya deposited items that had a particular history with the family. Once placed and buried, the objects disappeared from sight, not memory," Lucero said.
In order to enter the domestic underground museum, things that were used in life had to be "de-animated." The Maya would render these items useless by breaking them. In this way the artifacts could enter the next stage of their life history.