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Location Xcambo Archaeological Site

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Xcambo Archaeological Site

Location: Dzemul  |  Yucatan  |  Mexico

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Language: Spanish
Considered still a place of pilgrimage and worship of the Virgin of XCambó, who according to tradition over 50 years ago appeared on the site, so venerated in a chapel built on prehispanic buildings. Besides its historical importance, is still a point located within a natural and ecological environment. In May of each year are celebrating the Virgin Mary. The party in his honor is very typical and colorful. It is located 6 km from Puerto Telchac and 2 km from the coast, almost on the road-Telchac Progress.

X'Cambó became an important salt-making center, eventually distributing this good in many regions of Mesoamerica The region is still an important salt production area in Yucatán. In addition to salt, the trade shipped to and from X'Cambo likely included honey, cacao and maize.

X’Cambó has a small ceremonial area organized around a central plaza. Main buildings include various pyramids and platforms, such as the Templo de la Cruz (Temple of the Cross), the Templo de los Sacrificios (Temple of Sacrifices) and the Pyramid of the Masks, whose name derived from the stucco and painted masks that decorate its façade.

Probably because of its important trade connections, artifacts recovered from X’Cambó include a large number of rich, imported materials. Many burials included elegant pottery imported from Guatemala, Veracruz, and the gulf coast of Mexico, as well as figurines from the Island of Jaina. X'cambo was abandoned after ca 750 AD, likely a result of its exclusion from the reoriented Maya trade network. This was an important salt and saltfish trading post during Xcambo’s longest period of occupation, from 300 – 600 AD. It is thought 6,000 people lived in the surrounding areas. In 2001, 600 skeletal remains were found at the site. According to archeologists, the skeletons revealed a community relatively free of disease. Also found at Xcambo were several artifacts from Guatemala and Belize, leading experts to believe this was an important trading area.

There are two tall temples sitting at the north and south positions of the acropolis. The view of the shoreline from atop the pyramids is impressive. Along the pathways there are wells or cenotes, and stones carved into basins. Of note were several circular patterns set in stone on the ground. Most interesting was the half Mayan, half Christian chapel. It was a simple palapa roof over thick blocks of stone. The altar brought pictures to my mind of sacrifices, but they well may be of the “Body of Christ” type rather than “body of enemy”. Most of the site was built of huge square boulders, but there were some eloquent smaller rocks also patterned in, including an inverted V-shaped doorway typically seen on the Ruta Puuc.


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