Dzibilchaltún

Mayan Archaeology > Yucatan > Yucatan

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Writings on flat rocks

Dzibilchaltún means “place where there is writing on flat rocks”, and that is exactly what visitors will find in this Mayan archaeological zone.

This site is distinguished due to its long history, which goes back from the mid Preclassic period to the Postclassic period. Its longevity can be explained, among other things, by its privileged location, 17 km from the coast, next to an area of fertile soils. Dzibilchaltún was a large city with a population of nearly 20,000 inhabitants.

The concentric settlement occupies an area of 16 square kilometers. The first three kilometers correspond to the central part and is characterized by the abundance of monumental constructions, such as the Main Plaza, considered the most important group in the area. The rest of the space is occupied by other architectural groups that become more disperse. Buildings with staggered platforms which do not lead to any chambers are situated towards the end, around the plazas and small pyramids.

A total of 8,400 structures have been recorded here.

The most famous structure is the Temple of the Seven Dolls, named due to seven small clay statues found in the site when the temple was discovered by archaeologists in the '50s. Due to its characteristics, this building may be classified as a temple. On the spring equinox, the sun rises in such a way that it shines directly through into one of the temple’s windows and straight out the other. The temple is connected with the Main Plaza by sacbé 1.

OAnother main characteristic of Dzibilchaltún is the Xlacah Cenote, located near the Main Plaza, which is 40 meters deep and is the largest of a number of cenotes found in the site.

The archaeological site houses the Mayan People Museum, which addresses Mayan history and culture, and displays the continuity of plastic arts, the architecture, the language, the clothing, religion and costumes, as well as economic processes and science.

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

From the city of Mérida, go towards the northern coast, drive for 8 kilometers on highway 261 Mérida – Puerto Progreso, then take the turn that leads to the towns of Chablekal and Conkal, from there, go to the town of Dzibilchaltún, at the end of the town there is a road leading to the archaeological zone. Visitors can also get to the site using public transportation.

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Map and address

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It is located about 15 kilometers from the city of Mérida, towards the north coast.