Kohunlich

Mayan Archaeology > Quintana Roo > Quintana Roo

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Impressive stucco figureheads, which still retain the original red color that used to cover the entire temple

Its name comes from the English word Cohoon ridge, the name of an old lumber camp located in the area in the '20s and '30s of the 20th Century. There are also small hills with Cohune palms in this area, which is a species of palm tree from the south of the Yucatán peninsula and the Petén region of Guatemala and Belize.

Kohunlich is an 8.5 hectares archaeological zone, surrounded by forest, which was first settled around 200 B.C., although the majority of its most significant buildings were constructed during the early Classic period between 500 and 600 A.D. The city’s growth continued towards the terminal Classic period and up until the early Post-Classic period (1000-1200 A.D.).

In its golden age, it was a trade linking point for cities in the Yucatán peninsula and the rest of the Mayan cities of Central America.

A visit to the structures shows the development of the site’s architectural styles, from the Tepen-style “apron moldings” of the Figurehead Temple, to the embedded columns in the walls, reminiscent of the neighboring regions of Río Bec, which can be appreciated in a great number of the site’s buildings.

Kohunlich consists of various ceremonial and residential architectural groups, some of which may have functioned as neighborhoods or groupings of high-ranking families. The Acropolis, one of the sites larger groups, is also part of the high-ranking residential buildings.

Due to its symbolic and ritual importance, the Figurehead Temple is one of the most representative buildings in Quintana Roo, with its eight stucco-molded figures of which only five remain.

It is also important to mention the Palace of the Stelae, The Stands, and El Rey, in the area with high-ranking structures, where administrative functions may have been carried out.

Kohunlich is one of the most researched sites in the south of Quintana Roo, as well as the one with the most areas open to visitors. It is of great appeal, as the excavated architectural groups are varied and it allows us to discover more about different aspects of the ceremonial and daily life of the ancient Mayan. However, Kohunlich is not simply a blend of various influences; it also displays a style of its own, in the architecture as well as the iconography and the production of ceramics.

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

Take highway 186, Chetumal-Escarcega, and on kilometer 60, beside the town of Francisco Villa, take the 9 km turn, which leads straight to the site.

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Map and address

mapa
It is located 69 kilometers west of the city of Chetumal, 9 kilometers from kilometer 60 of the 186 Federal Highway Chetumal-Escárcega.