Plaza Sur, ek'Balam, Jucatan, Mexico, 2008

City of ek'Balam took its name from the noble person-leader with same name and meaning "black jaguar". Only the very special people were holding that name since jaguars, and especially black ones, are highly valuable in Maya society. Large pyramid in the distance has huge molded jaguar mouth clearly visible from where this photos were taken. All the structures on this south plaza are from the most important cultural period - late classic [700-900 ad] but city itself existed much earlier.

Most of the buildings were built over older structures, sometimes using stones from the demolished ones.

Stones were not carved as in some other Maya cities [like old Chichen Itza in its neigbourhood] but covered with molded stucco and richly painted both inside and out. Remains of the bright paints are still visible on some spots.

Atmosphere on this ceremonial square surrounded by very important buildings is hard to imagine now without people and colours. Most of the structures are of a religious character but some of them were used as a living quoters for selected few. Climbers to these pyramids are complaining for unpleasant height of the stairs. Their primary purpose was to be stands for various Mayan ceremonies performed on the square.

This square being unique and used quite differently from the squares we are used to in western civilization, still have that sense of special gathering space. Famous stone sculpture with head inside the serpent mouth is found in the so called twin pyramid with two temples on the top right on this square.

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sociability
8
ceremonial
x
uses & activities
10
religious
x
access & linkages
10
social
x
comfort
10
residential
x
image
10
court yard
x
tourist value
10
with park
x
total
58
street, shopping
x
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urban squares initiative by aleksandar janicijevic is licensed under a creative commons attribution-share alike 2.5 canada license.

Last time updated on Saturday, January 31, 2015, 3:02 PM