Monday, April 1, 2019

Ancient Edzná Maya Ruins

The Great Plaza of Edzná
A great place for us to go while we were staying in Campeche was the Maya ruins of Edzná. It's a small but spectacular and uncrowded archaeological site. It was only about a half an hour from the Hacienda. It's not as well known as Chichén Itzá or Uxmal but is a very interesting ancient Maya city to see.

First Glimpse of Edzná
The interesting thing about Edzná is that it is thought to have a family connection to the Itzás in Yucatán. Some archaeologists believe that this Maya city was influenced by the family of the Itzá before they founded Chichén Itzá.

Edzná could have been inhabited as early as 600 BCE (abandoned c.1450 CE) and it's been thought to have mimicked certain aspects of Teotihuacán in those early days. At one point the city had a population of 25,000 inhabitants but it took Edzná until around 200 CE for it to develop into a major city.

Pyramid of Five Floors
The main building to see is on the Gran Acropolis, which is the central platform that supports the Pyramid of 5 Floors. This Pyramid defines the Gran Acropolis. The unique structure has five levels and reaches 40 meters in height. Each stair has hieroglyphic carvings with stucco details that can still be seen today.
Hieroglyphic Stair
Cross-eyed Sunrise God
Another structure is the Temple of the Masks that was uncovered in 1988. This building has two small but distinct masks on the base of the temple, one located to the east and one located to the west.The East mask represents and honors the Sunrise God and the West the Sunset God. The masks are made of stucco, a delicate material that makes the preservation of these masks truly incredible. Remnants of the red and blue paint used to decorate the masks are still intact in places. The Sunrise God has Crossed eyes that was considered a mark of beauty by the Maya.

Ball Court
The Ball Court is a small structure compared to other Maya cities, but it is assumed that it preformed the same function as the larger Ball Courts.

West Side of Great Plaza
Palace Staircase
The Palace is hard to miss as this is the major structure that faces the Gran Acropolis. This residential building runs north to south for 135 meters/ 442 feet. There are four large rooms at the top of the staircase. Archaeologist think that the staircase that runs the length of the building might have been used as seating during events in the Great Plaza.

The Maya ruins of Edzná are a must see. Highly Recommended!

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