Chinkultic

Mayan Archaeology > Chiapas > Chiapas

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Enjoy, as the Mayans once did, of the most extraordinary views of the Comitecan plains.

Chinkultic means “Stepped Cenote” in Mayan. Its name references the strategic location of three natural water deposits: in the north the “Blue Water Cenote”, in the northeast the “Chanujabab” lagoon and in the northwest the “Tepancuapan” lagoon. It was first occupied between 50 B.C. and 300 A.D., although its constructive peak began in 600 A.D. and it was occupied until approximately 1250 A.D.

The archaeological site is established on immense platforms, used to create a large surface through leveling, filling and terrace retaining walls, adapting the architecture to the natural topography of the terrain. The group is one of the best examples of Mayan architecture coupled with landscape.

Some fragments of stelae with Izapa style designs have been found.

The residential area has nearly 200 mounds of various sizes, most still unexcavated, that are divided into four main groups and one ball court. The shape and distribution of these groups is related to the topography and the three bodies of water previously mentioned.

Group A is the most elevated and the entire site can be seen from here, which is why it is also called “The Viewpoint”. The Acropolis rules this group. Group B stands out due to its Sunken Plaza. The ball court and the Great Platform are located in Group C. Group D stands out due to its large pyramid base and the Lajas Platform, its name comes from the large laja stones used to build it, which can be up to 2.6 by 40 meters, and are the biggest constructional blocks known in Mesoamerica.

It is one of the few places where hieroglyphic inscriptions from the late Classic period (600-900 A.D.) abound. Water worship and reverence to the sun were the main religious themes that inspired the construction of this area. Human remains have been found in the Blue Water Cenote, which is evidence of human sacrifice, as well as remains of ceramic and small boxes in which offerings dedicated to the water gods were placed.

Hours
Monday through Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00
Rates
42 pesos
How to arrive

It is accessed through Federal Highway 307, 19 kilometers from the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, and 49 kilometers from the city of Comitán de Domínguez, along highway 190 towards La Trinitaria. Continue on the same road from La Trinitaria until reaching the town of Miguel Hidalgo, where a 1.5 kilometer northbound paved road begins and leads the way to the archaeological zone. You can also get there by public transportation from Comitán de Domínguez.

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Map and address

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49 kilometers from the city of Comitán and 34 from La Trinitaria