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Location Acanceh Archaeological Site

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Acanceh Archaeological Site

Location: Merida  |  Yucatan  |  Mexico

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Language: Spanish
Acanceh means THE MOAN OF THE DEER in the Yucatec Maya language. The archaeological zone is located in the center of the modern town and covers an approximate area of 3 square kilometers.

Located in the southeast at 33 km from Mérida. There are nine sinkholes and two caves in the municipality. In the main square you can visit the Mayan and restored two buildings: the Pyramid and the Palace of the stucco. On the east side of the main square is a colonial church built in the sixteenth century, on whose altar is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. In Acanceh, highlights the importance of conservation of ancient monuments to enrich the appearance of modern populations, in addition to his rescue increased tourist population.

The first evidence of prehispanic occupation dates back to the late Preclassic period (300 B.C. to 300 A.D.), until the late Postclassic period (1300 to 1450 A.D.); however, it did not reach its peak until the early Classic period (300 to 600 A.D.) when it consisted of 300 different types of structures. Acancéh has resisted the aggression of modern urban growth, preserving two architectural complexes, known as the Pyramid and the Palace of the Stuccos. These two buildings suggest the existence of relations between Acancéh and places such as Uaxactún, Guatemala, and Teotihuacan.

The main Pyramid of Acancéh is 11 meters high and is formed by three staggered bodies built on a 32 meter platform per side. One of the older layers of the pyramid has been uncovered revealing eight stucco modeled masks, which flank the main staircase. The stones are carved in the Puuc style. The Palace of the Stuccos stands out due to the stucco frieze on its façade. The figures depicted on the frieze represent supernatural entities or deities, which may have been used to sustain the ruler’s lineage. This frieze is framed by horizontal moldings and colossal figureheads that symbolize a scene in the sky. The individual frames indicate that its characters are located between the earthly and celestial planes.

The site is important due to the presence of ceramic materials that are characteristic of the great City of Mexico, as well as some similar structures in Palace of the Stuccos, leading some to believe that Acancéh was a colony of Teotihuacan, to north of Yucatán.

There are also other recently discovered structures, which are undergoing excavation and are closed to the public.


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