We won’t officially be in the Estado de Yucatan until tomorrow, but we are on the Yucatan Peninsula and in the thick of Mayan country. This is the first real destination we had besides south and we made it! We’ve come 4,000 miles by motorcycle and driven just about the entire country of Mexico North to South. I’m feeling pretty good. If you remember from my last post It Ain’t all Peaches we we’re having a bit of a rough go of it. It’s as if somebody was listening and laid out beautifully paved, low traffic roads with lovely weather for us these last two days. Feelin’ fine.
We cut inland this morning from Champoton on federal highway (two lanes with a line in some places) 261, destination Edzna. Edzna is a pre-Columbian Mayan settlement established in this fertile valley between 600 and 300 BCE. In the first few centuries of the Common Era Edzna grew, became socially diversified and constructed the large buildings which are still visible today. The majority of these buildings surround the main plaza in the core of the city. Between 600 and 900 CE Edzna reached the peak of its influence and became the capital for the western regions of the Yucatan Peninsula. Around 1000 CE the city was on the decline and stopped building large structures. By 1500 its influence dissipated and it was gradually abandoned.
In 1906 signs of ancient civilization were found but nothing of consequence was discovered for another two decades. In 1927, Nazario Quintana Bello was exploring in the area and stumbled upon the structures at Edzna buried in the thick jungle. There have been a number of Mexican and American archaeologists to come to Edzna. Since 1988, exploration and restoration has been overseen by Archaeologists Antonio Benavides C. Some of the rooms in the largest structure(shown left) remain unexplored. Perhaps they’ll turn up more artifacts akin to the recent discoveries. That’s all I have to say about that.
We used some special effects on the camera here to really grab the features. This is the Temple of the Stone Masks. This is a portrayal of the solar deity with dawn attributes on its East (left) side and those of the afternoon on the West. Red is the predominant color as much for its association with the sun as for its ubiquity elsewhere in the structures of Edzna.
These are the dusk masks without any help from the camera.
The great acropolis (raised city), named for its similarity with Greek structures. It has an enormous square base 530 feet wide and 25 feet high. From the summit rises the five floor building so called for its five levels of vaulted rooms. She’s a ‘beaut.
Standing on the “House of the Moon.”
This is just the first stop on our tour of the Mayan Ruins of the Yucatan. Stay tuned and wish us luck. Start commercial break: Don’t forget that you can subscribe and have freewheelings.com delivered right to you Inbox.