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Archaeology Monday (pt.7): Dzibanche

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Welcome to "Archeology Monday" our newest feature here on YucatanDiscovery.com Check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites!

One of the first things you notice when you arrive in Dzibanche (at least this has been true in the past) is an almost absolute lack of other visitors. Given the splendor of the site and its proximity to tourist attractions such as Bacalar and the state capital of Chetumal, the site is for some reason largely ignored by virtually all holiday makers. Dzibanche which in Maya means "writing on wood" was a large city and likely early capital of the famous Kan dynasty which ruled over Calakmul. Some researchers even claim that Dzibanche features the most ancient use of the hieroglyphic Kaan dynasty family emblem. Excavation at the site have also uncovered a hieroglyphic stairway which depict reliefs of bound captives supposedly captured by lord Yuknoon Ch´een the first. Though Dzibanche is genera…

Archaeology Monday (pt.6): Chicanna

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday" our newest feature here on YucatanDiscovery.com Check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites!



Anyone with even the most basic cursory knowledge of the Maya know that southern Campeche is "Rio Bec" land. Twin tower complexes and elaborate stucco work is often associated with this style of architecture, but when I think of Rio Bec what comes to mind is the "Monstruo de la tierra" or the "Earth Monster". Now I am well aware that Monstruo de la tierra facades are not exclusively found in the Rio bec region as they can be found as far afield as northern Yucatan as sites such as Ek-Balamb and as far west in Chiapas at the enormous palace complex in Tonina Chiapas (just outside ocosingo). That being said the Rio Bec region is full of stunning examples of this most interesting feature at a great many sites such as Hochob, El Hormiguero and of course Chicanna. The latter …

Archaeology Monday: (pt.5): Xpujil

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday" our newest feature here on YucatanDiscovery.com Check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites!


Located within the town of the same name, The archaeological site and ancient city of Xpujil sits in the jungle of southern campeche near the border with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo to the east, and the Peten department of Guatemala to the south. Though the original name of the city has been lost to time, it has been known as Xpujil since its rediscovery in the 1930s. The name is a reference to the type of vegetation growing around the site which resembles a "cat tail". As with other cities of the region, Xpujil is exemplifies the Rio Bec style or architecture. The city was once composed of 17 structure groups which follow a disperse type of settlement pattern. These include groups formed by open courtyards surrounded by monumental buildings separated by each other by smaller structu…

Archaeology Monday (pt.4): Becan

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday" our newest feature here on YucatanDiscovery.com! Check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites!



Located near the geographical center of the Yucatan peninsula in the Mexican state of Campeche, Becan is most famous for grandiose Rio Bec style of architecture and its particularly well developed defence systems which feature a surrounding wall and moat. Archaeological evidence suggests that Becan was first occupied by Maya peoples during the Preclassic period sometime in the sixth century BC, however most of the large scale construction in the site seems to have been erected in the third century AC with construction having basically ceased by the ninth century AC. Becan has also been the site of the discovery of significant finds which include relatively intact tombs of ancient rulers. As is the case with virtually all ancient cities in the Region, Becan owed allegiance to Calakmul. The significant…

Archaeology Monday: Edzna

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday" our newest feature here on YucatanDiscovery.com! Check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites!


When people think of the Itza a certain city always come to mind. There is no denying that Chichen Itza eclipses the attention all other “Itza sites” for the vast majority of the the general population. This is of course understandable given how for many Chichen Itza has become synonymous with with the Itza/Itzaes but also with mesoamerican archaeology in general.

However, far away from Cancun and the beaches of the caribbean in the northern quadrant of the state of Campeche lays another great Itzaes capital, the great city of Edzna whose mayan name literally translates as “The house of the Itza”.

First inhabited as far back as the fifth century BC, Edzna had established itself as a power to be reckoned with by the end of the second century BC. In the late classic period Edzna seems to have become p…