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Archaeology Monday: (pt.9): Calakmul

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday", check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites! For centuries, Calakmul was the greatest seat of power in Meso-America. The wars it fought with its great enemy Tikal to the south is the stuff of legend. Even after its eventual fall to Tikal after centuries of conflict its influence remained and it was held as marker for greatness. Today the ruins of Calakmul lay in the national park and bio reserve of the same name deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35 kilometres from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul is one of the most archaeologically dense sites within Mesoamerica. The site contains 117 stelae in paired sets which represent important events in the lives of the city and its dynasties.Though accurately calculating the size of populations in Mesoamerica is a tricky business, it is estimated the Calakmul had a population of approximately 50,000, however this number i

Archaeology Monday: (pt.8): Kinichna

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Welcome to "Archaeology Monday", check back every week for a new profile and photos of some of our favourite archaeological sites! Most visitors that venture deep in enough to the countryside of southern Quintana Roo to visit the archaeological site of Kinichna have no idea what to expect when arriving at the site. Just a few kilometers away from Dzibanche, the entrance to Kinichna is covered by thick rainforest which hides from view the massive structure within. It is uncertain why the INAH (Instituto Nacional de AntropologĂ­a e Historia) decided to split up Dzibanche and Kinichna in to two separate archaeological parks, but due to their proximity (2km) one is obliged to come to the conclusion that they were parts of the same large city state. The principal multi level structure found at Kinichna can not be described in terms other than gargantuan as it rivals in size and volume even the largst structures found at sites such as Calakmul or Mirador. Within the structure archa

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 gener

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 l

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 stru