Sunday, November 2, 2008


Uxmal, meaning "Thrice built" is my favorite archeological site in the Yucatan.  Indra and I visited this place before we moved here and recently I had a chance to revisit it during a corporate weekend with my company.
I thought I'd share a few photos with you.

The first thing one sees when entering is the Magician's Pyramid and it is unusual in several ways. The layers of the step pyramid are oval, rather than the usual rectangular or square shape. It was a common practice in Mesoamerica to build new temple pyramids atop older ones (three times here), but here a newer pyramid was built centered slightly to the east of the older pyramid, so that on the west side the temple atop the old pyramid is preserved, with the newer temple above it.  That little doorway near the top was made by explorers entering the pyramid.
Here's another view from the west side showing the older temple steps and doorway and the newer alter on the top...
Of course, Chichen Itza is the place where most tourists go and it is impressive.  But one of the things that makes Uxmal so nice that once inside there are no people trying to sell you souvenirs and it's way less crowded.  Even peaceful.
This is the Nun's quadrangle, so named by the Spaniards when they showed up in the 1500's.
While much work has been done 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.
You can't climb the Wizard's pyramid at Uxmal, but you can climb a second called the Grand Pyramid which is where I took this shot...
This also gives an idea of how absolutely flat this area is.
If you are ever here, put Uxmal on your list of places to visit.
More later,