Ek Balam1
Ek Balam1

Mayan Archaeological Sites in Yucatán

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Mayan Archaeological Sites in Yucatán

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It has an imposing and majestic architecture.

Its name translates to “the black jaguar” or “bright star jaguar.” Its origin dates from the year Middle pre-Classic between 300 BC and the Late Classic between 600 and 900 A.D, but the site remained inhabited until the arrival of the Spaniards.

It is probably one of the most powerful pre-Hispanic cities both economically and religiously, and reached its peak from 770 to 896 A.D.

Must see Buildings

Vegetation still covers much of the archaeological site, but it's well organized and has a lovely, lush setting. Five sacbes surrounded by trees lead into the Central Plaza with enormous buildings and highly decorated facades.

The layout of the site is surrounded by two concentric walls with defensive purpuses.

Ek Balám

The Acropolis

Interesting features include a pyramid-like structure near the entrance, as well as a fine arch and a ball court. But the most impressive structure is the Acrópolis, whose well-restored base is 160m (480 feet) long and 59 m (180 feet) wide.

Atop the base of the Acrópolis is Ek’ Balam’s massive main pyramid, reaching a height of and 32 m (96 feet) high. This palace has six levels where the governors and the elite used to lived. At the entrance there is a monster-like figure, a gaping jaguar mouth, guarding the entrance to the underworld. Below the mouth are stucco skulls, while above and to the right sits an amazingly expressive figure.

On the right side of the entrance stand unusual winged human figures popularly known as Maya angels, although a much more likely explanation is that they are shaman or medicine men. This great Mayan artistry is protected by palapa roofs.

La Torre (The Tower)

This important structure, also known as La Torre (the Tower), houses the tomb of Ek Balam’s powerful ruler Ukil-Kan-Lek-Tok that ruled around in 800 A.D. Beside the statues there are also remains of wall paintings and murals. The burial offering of this ruler is considered one of the richest in the Maya area.

Structure 17

It is located in the South Plaza is known as Los Gemelos (The Twins), a large foundation 40 m (131 feet) long, 17 m (56 feet) wide and 6 m (20 feet) high; at the top there are two mirroring temples on either side.

Structure 10

This structure is 43 m (141 feet) long, 30 m (98 feet) wide and 5 m (16 feet) high, is a platform whose base dates to the Late Classic but the upper structures correspond to the post-Classic period.

Cenote X’Canché

At the entrance there is a beautiful cenote, X’Canché, it is belived it was a ceremonial site.

Location

It is located in the municipality of Temozon, between Tizimín and Valladolid, Yuc. The turnoff for the archaeological site is 17km north of Valladolid, and the ruins are another 6km east from the turnoff.

Hours

Monday to Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs.

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