Uxmal, "Built Three Times"
Uxmal Travel Blog› entry 3 of 25 › view all entries
Uxmal, "Built Three Times", (Yucatec Maya: "oxmáal), is a large Maya site located 34 miles south of Mérida on Highway 261. Many buildings have been consolidated and restored. Currently little in the way of serious archeological excavation and research has been done at Uxmal. Accurate dates of occupation are not known. The population is estimated to have reached 25,000. Most visible architecture is estimated to have been built between 600 AD and 1100 AD. Uxmal was founded by Hun Uitzil Chac Tutul Xiu around 500 AD. The Xiu family controlled Uxmal until after the Spanish arrival. Sometime after 1200 AD all new monumental construction ended at Uxmal.
It should be noted that before archaeologists began restoration and consolidation activities that Uxmal was in better condition than most other Maya sites because of superior construction materials, engineering, experience of the labor force and work ethic.
The Palace of the Governor is a long low building erected on a huge platform, it is the longest facade in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.
The Adivino "Pyramid of the Magician" is unusual in several ways. First the perimeter shape is oval, rather than the usual rectangular or square shape. It was a common practice in Mesoamerica to build new temple pyramids directly over older ones, however, the last construction phase of the Adivino (117 feet tall) was built slightly to the east of the older pyramid, so that on the west side the temple the old pyramid is visible.
The majority of all of the hieroglyphic inscriptions present at Uxmal are on a series of stone stelae.
The first detailed account of Uxmal was published by Jean Frederic Waldeck in 1838. John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood visited Uxmal twice in the early 1840s. Désiré Charnay took a series of photographs of Uxmal in 1860. In 1863 Empress Carlota of Mexico visited Uxmal. Prior to her visit some statues and architectural elements depicting phallic themes were removed.