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My first pyramid – Uxmal

Posted by admin On October - 19 - 2008

Today was an very exciting day for me. I had the possibility to see my first Mayan pyramid, my first pyramid at all. It’s the famous Uxmal. From Merida it’s about 1 hour drive. My Mexican couchsurf host Adan and I arrived just right in time…almost too late so we had just 1 hour for visiting the sight. The good thing was that there were almost no people so I was able to make amazing photos just from the pyramid and its surroundings. I was very impressed how beautiful and majestic this place is. From far away you can see the top of the pyramid of the magician (Pirámide del Adivino ). After a break of three hours they open the sight again in darkness for a telling a myth and a light show. Unfortunately I had no translator and my Spanish right now is not good enough. So I just watched the show, but definitely recommend everybody to rent a translator.

About Uxmal:

“Uxmal (Yucatec Maya: Óoxmáal) is a large pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. It is 78 km south of Mérida, Yucatán, or 110 km from that city on Highway 261 towards Campeche, Campeche), 15 km south-southeast of the town of Muna.

Uxmal is pronounced “Oosh-mahl”. The place name is Pre-Columbian and it is usually assumed to be an archaic Maya language phrase meaning “Built Three Times”, although some scholars of the Maya language dispute this derivation.

While much work has been done at the popular tourist destination of Uxmal to consolidate and restore buildings, little in the way of serious archeological excavation and research has been done here, therefore the city’s dates of occupation are unknown and the estimated population (about 25,000 people) is at present only a very rough guess subject to change upon better data. Most of the architecture visible today was built between about 700 and 1100.

Maya chronicles say that Uxmal was founded about 500 by Hun Uitzil Chac Tutul Xiu. For generations Uxmal was ruled over by the Xiu family, was the most powerful site in western Yucatan, and for a while in alliance with Chichen Itza dominated all of the northern Maya area. Sometime after about 1200 no new major construction seems to have been made at Uxmal, possibly related to the fall of Uxmal’s ally Chichen Itza and the shift of power in Yucatan to Mayapan. The Xiu moved their capital to Maní, and the population of Uxmal declined.

northdrugstore After the Spanish conquest of Yucatán (in which the Xiu allied themselves with the Spanish), early colonial documents suggest that Uxmal was still an inhabited place of some importance into the 1550s, but no Spanish town was built here and Uxmal was soon after largely abandoned.”



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About Me

“One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.”
by Mark Twain


    My Photos at Flickr