Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Central America 2016 pt. 4 (Ixlú and Motul de San Jose)

One of the best things about living in Yucatan is easy access to tons of archaeological sites. At this point I have visited about 100 different Maya sites. That being said there are still many many sites big and small which I still have not explored. It is of-course completely natural that "big hitters" such as Tikal, Calakmul and Caracol get more attention than small and barely (or not at all) excavated sites which nobody other than the most keen know about. That being said there is much to love and learn about smaller archaeological sites, particularly when trying to piece together a more complete picture of what ancient Maya societies were actually like. The area of the Peten basin is of-course home to some of the most impressive ancient city states not just in meso-america but in the entire world. However, much like back home (the Yucatan) smaller and often unexplored mounds dot the landscape. The archaeological sites of Ixlú and Motul de San Jose or two such archaeological sites located near the shores of Lake Peten Itza which is by the way the place the Itza lords fled to after the crumbling of their city states in northern Yucatan. Both sites are of a good size but have not received much (if anything) in the way of archaeological reconstruction/preservation other than the erection of small shelters to protect some of the stelae from the elements. In any case I hope you enjoy the photos



norm said...

A not so well known but truly hugh ruin in your general area is Oxkintoc, down Maxcanu way. The uncovered part is not so impressive, it has some of the most incompetent reconstruction I've seen but the sheer size of the built up area covers hundreds of hectares . It looked to me like it was being looted when I was there a few years ago. There were 4x4 trails going off into the tanga forest every few hundred meters. The little valley the ruin sits in is full of temples, big temples but all in ruin. Sort of like the big temple ruin at Kabah next to the arch only a few dozen at Oxkintoc. I was there during the dry season so it was easy to see what was there, it's worth a day trip.

I like the disk in your photo. Very nice condition. The disks are not common or at least carved ones that can still be read.

Carlos Rosado said...

Okintoc is indeed a wonderful site, have you ever had the chance to visit the labyrinth? Its not really open to the public but sometime you can talk them in to allowing you entrance =)

norm said...

It looked pretty tight for this old linebacker.
The limestone quarries under Coba would be interesting, Carlos. I don't know if they do tours but it would be something to see.
I like Okintoc. It is just so spread out, one gets the feeling that it was home to many thousands of people in the day. It follows the standard model: far enough inland to give warning of invasion from the ocean, far enough inland to avoid the surge from big storms, caves and water sources. I think the climate may have been a little wetter as well. The fact that it was occupied from Omec times to the conquest is a big plus as well. An interesting ruin indeed.