Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ek' Balam Maya Ruins

Ek' Balam Acropolis
One great thing about staying at Hacienda Chichen is that it is located in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula which makes it a good base for exploring the maya ruins. We left the Hacienda and got to Ek' Balam early and there weren't too many people there yet. It was like we were discovering the ruins. 
Four way Entrance to Ruins
Ek Balam is a Maya name that means the "black Jaguar". It's near the colonial city of Valladolid so its kind of easy to get there but Siri and the iPhone maps helps a lot. Ek' Balam's most important era was the Late Classic (700 to 1000 CE). The Maya buried the site to protect the Pyramids and main tomb and wasn't really mapped until the 1800s. Then in the 1980, the site began to be excavated and research continued into the 1990s. 

Ek Balam from the Acropolis – Oval Palace left, The twins Right
The City of Ek' Balam functioned as a city for over 1000 years and was begun in the Pre-Classic (100 BCE to 300 CE) and continued well into the Late Classic. Some have said that the city may have even been inhabited until the Spanish invasion occurred in the 16th century.


The architecture and design makes the Acropolis one of the largest Maya structures in the Yucatan. Not only was the building a tomb but it was a palace too. It is 151 meters long, 60 meters wide and 30 meters high and the tomb contains some of the most beautifully decorated designs found in a Maya building. The decorations are not carved stone like those found at Uxmal and Chichen Itza. The builders and artists used a stucco and limestone mortar that could be modeled into beautiful forms and painted.
Path to Util-Kan Le'k Tok' Tomb 



Jaguar Mouth Tomb Entrance
Winged Figures
The Acropolis houses the tomb of Util-Kan Le'k Tok' who was the ruler during the city's most important era. The tomb has beautiful full figure statues decorating it that exhibit hair braids, loin cloth patterns and warrior's belts and much more that can be seen.The Acropolis facades have been restored and protected by palapa roofs that conserve the artistry.  

Hieroglyphic Stairs with Facing Snakes
Unexcavated Ruins
The other buildings there are not quite as elaborate as the Acropolis but there's structure 17 that is called "The Twins" that's there. The large platform is 40 meters in length and 6 meters high and holds two temples which can be seen from the Acropolis. Also interesting is the Oval Palace. The formal entrance to the city has four gates in one and can be seen as one arrives at the ruins that's interesting too.

Ek' Balam is definitely a ruin to see if you're is in the Yucatan!

Highly Recommended!

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