February 11th, 2009 – by: geokid
Labná "abandoned house" small Maya site on the Puuc Highway about 10 miles southeast of Kabah
, 6 miles east of Highway 261. The site was built in the Late and Terminal Classic era. A date corresponding to 862 AD is inscribed in the palace. Labná was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is one of the five main Puuc sites, including Xlapak, Sayil, Kabah, and Uxmal
on the Puuc Highway. Puuc is a style characterized by stone mosaic friezes applied to an underlying hard surface made up of masks of the long nosed rain god (Chaac), lattice work, zigzags representing serpents, below the frieze area the structures are typically plain.
This peaceful hill settlement had a population at its height of about 4,500 persons. Structures to see are the Palace with more than 60 rooms, Temple of the Columns, The Mirador atop a pyramidal platform and The Mayan Arch at the entrance of the grand sacbe. The architectural style of all these structures is 9th to 10th century AD Puuc. The palace ("El Palacio")is a large two level structure which is one of the longest contiguous structures in the Puuc region at approximately 394 feet in length. From the palace, a sacbe (white road) extends to an elaborately decorated gateway arch ("El Arco"). The Mayan Arch here at Labná is not free-standing as at Uxmal and Kabah. This arch is a passage way through a larger building complex. The Mayan arch uses the principle of the corbeled vault as done most interior rooms of buildings. The arch opening is about 9.75 feet wide and 19.5 feet high. This arch is not the entrance to the city but a gate-way between public areas On the east side of the arch are V-shaped stepped frets that project from a background of colonnettes (short false columns) with the typical Puuc style zigzags. A low ornate roof comb crowns the arch.. Next to this gateway stands "El Mirador", a pyramid-like structure surmounted by a temple. Also on the site is the Temple of the Columns. The first written report of Labná was by John Lloyd Stephens who visited it with artist Frederick Catherwood in 1842.