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Location Sayil Archaeological Site

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Sayil Archaeological Site

Location: Santa Elena  |  Yucatan  |  Mexico

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Language: Spanish
Sayil is located 33 km. southeast of Uxmal. Center of great extension, developed between 600 and 900 ad on the facade of the buildings are beautifully adorned with stone mosaic. It may look THE PALACE, most notably the construction area, the second level is decorated with mosaics of the figure of god descending as well in approximately 70 rooms the appearance of new architectural


Sayil, or “The Place of the Leaf-Cutter Ants” is, along with Uxmal and Kabah, one of the great Puuc cities.

According to the INAH Sign at the site entrance, Sayil was one of the most densely populated Mayan cities of the Hill Region. The residential area occupied an area of at least 3.5 square kilometers (2.2 square miles). The population could have reached a maximum of 10,000 inhabitants in the residential area and 7,000 in the suburbs. The Mayans occupied the city almost exclusively between 700 and 1000 A.D. An internal system of Saq Beoob (white roads) 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) long defines the population center, which connected the North Palace with the major constructions such as the Stelae (not sure what INAH means or where they are), the Ball Court (not sure where it is), and the South Palace.

Sayil reached its peak development in the terminal Classic period, near the year 900, when it covered a surface of approximately 5 square kilometers and its population may have reached 17,000 inhabitants, of which half would have lived in surrounding areas.

The city of Sayil was built on a valley of land suitable for agriculture, which gave its rulers power and wealth. It was organized through a great sacbé that ran from north to south and went from the Palace to another building a kilometer away.

The city is formed by main groups of masonry structures united by stone roads, following the north-south axis. Located along the route between one group and other were palm-tree and stick houses, which were inhabited by the common population. Among the residences, there are large areas of fertile terrain, which must have been used for self-consumption cultivations, which is why it is suggested that the Puuc cities were true city-gardens.

One of the most representative buildings is The Palace, with three levels and multiple rooms which the Mayans built over several years. The ruling family lived here, however, it was not only residential, administrative functions were also concentrated here.

Another one of the buildings which can be visited is El Mirador, a staggered temple crowned with a perforated cresting; it is near this building that the city market was found. Two kilometers south of The Palace is the South Palace and the Ball Court.


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