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Location Oxkintok Archaeological Site

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Oxkintok Archaeological Site

Location: Maxcanu  |  Yucatan  |  Mexico

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Language: Spanish
The Three Flint Sun-Stones.

Oxkintok is an archaeological site on the Yucatán Peninsula, located at the northern tip of the Puuc hills, a short distance east of Maxcanú and about 40 miles from Mérida. It is not far from Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc. The site is big, about three square miles, and contains pyramids, plazas, and palaces scattered amid high grass and trees. It is well-maintained but sparsely visited, and you may be the only visitor on the site.

Oxkintok, which means “Three-Day Flint” or “Three flint sun-stones” in Mayan, has one of the longest Mayan site occupation periods, from 300 B.C. to 1000 A.D. Unlike the rest of the Puuc cities, it had its peak during the early Classic period (300-500 A.D.) when most of the monumental buildings were constructed. The architecture displays a dominance of pyramid bases over roofed spaces, which is a style associated with Petén. This city is also known as Maxacan or Tzat Tun Tzat.

It is characterized by the antiquity of its hieroglyphic inscriptions (475 and 859 A.D.), by the guardians on the anthropomorphic stone columns, and above all, by the uniqueness of its early buildings.

Oxkintok’s best known building is the Labyrinth or Tza Tun Tzat, formed by three superimposed levels. From the moment you enter its only door, a childish fear of getting lost comes over you. In ancient Oxkintok, there is also a secret gateway to Xibalbá, the underworld.

There is a mortuary chamber at the end of its intricate hallways and levels, which holds the remains of one of the great lords of Oxkintok.

The men of stone in Oxkintok, located in the east end, are obese figures, dressed in mesh vests, zoomorphic chest pieces and clothing decorated with intertwined rope.

The buildings at Oxkintok are typical of the Puuc style in the Yucatan region. However it is interesting to note that the site also exhibits a typical central Mexican architectural feature, like the talud and tablero, which consists of a sloped wall surmounted by a platform structure.

Oxkintok is located outside of the town of Maxcanú which is roughly 30 miles southwest of Merida. Oxkintok is about 30 miles northwest of Uxmal and the Ruta Puuc, about halfway between Mérida and Campeche.

To drive from Mérida, take highway 180 to the site near the intersection of Highway 188 and 184. One day tours are available out of Mérida. One could also take the public bus to Maxcanú and take a cab to the ruins.


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