Archaeology Monday: Edzna

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 part of the area of influence of Calakmul. However given its geographical distance from Calakmul and its seemingly eternal adversary Tikal, it is likely that little fighting in these century old conflicts between the two titans of the region reached Edzna directly. That being said it is very likely that Edzna would have contributed to the war effort as a vassal state sending soldiers and taxes. As was the case with so many Mayan cities, the postclassic saw the growing influence of groups other regions in mesoamerica such as the Toltec and the Itzaes. Aside from the impressive size of the city and its monuments, Edzna also features several interesting stucco figures and easily visible instances of hieroglyphic writing upon steps of temples and stelae.

The main plaza of Edzna features many of the largest structures in the city including a multi level pyramidal structure known as "el Edificio de Cinco Pisos" and the Nohochná (La Casa Grande). The city also possesses several ballcourts, the largest one of which is located just outside the main acropolis.

Edzna is only one of the many amazing sites such as Chicanna, Becan, Xpujil, Balamku, Dzibanche.and many more which we will be visiting on our Southern Campeche & Quintana Roo Archaeology & Wild-Life Experience (Feb 20th to the 25th, 2020). Space is still available but it is filling up fast! For more information email Carlos at carlos.rosado@yucatandiscovery.com

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