Chacmultún, México - Chacmultun Ruins Map
Chacmultun is an ancient and most unique archeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is located in the municipality of Tecax, 82 miles southeast of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan State. It was inhabited since 300BC, but reached its glory epoch between 600 and 1000 AD. This city was continuously occupied until the Spaniards arrived in the 15th century.
The name Chacmultun means "mounds of red stone" in the Maya language. The city was named so due to the color of the stones that lines the walls. This hue is caused by microorganisms that inhabit the place and whose particles, in contact with water and air, redden the stone.
Chacmultun is an "off the beaten path" site because it is one of the lesser known and visited ruins in the area. It was discovered in the 19th century by the Austrian explorer Teobert Maler, and was excavated in detail during the 1970s.
Covering 100 hectares in extension, the constructions of Chacmultun were built on top of hillocks, hill slopes and artificial terraces – foundations of up to 26 feet high, as the terrain is quite uneven. That gives all its buildings an image of supremacy and power.
Some of the facades are decorated with quite rare Maya murals and beautifully elaborated friezes, which is characteristic of the Puuc architectural style.
Other attractive feature of the complex are the wall paintings, depicting court ceremonies, including figures in large headdresses and a man with a bow and arrow. The figures are small, about one foot high, but show an amazingly fine artistry.