We have recently returned from a trip to Mexico during which we visited a few really cool places, one of which was Ek' Balam, the ruins of an ancient Mayan village. Ek' Balam is Mayan for "Black Jaguar" and was built over 1200 years ago. Its quite amazing that these ruins were only discovered in the 1980s and excavated, revealing themselves in almost perfect condition.
This is the arch at the entrance to the village. It's described as a ceremonial arch and sits on the main road into Ek' Balam. Looks like our daughter is maintaining a peaceful protest on that slope.
This is one side of the "Ballcourt". Ballcourts were used for recreation by the Mayans and a lot of the Mayan ruins have them. There is some interesting stuff here on the mesoamerican ballgame that the Mayans seemed to enjoy. Apparently, the size of your ball court was a representation of how powerful you were.
More ballcourt action.
One of many small structures that may have been used as temples
Another temple structure
Another temple structure
The main structure at Ek' Balam is the Acropolis. This is believed to contain the tomb of Ukit Kan Leʼk Tokʼ, an important ruler in Ekʼ Balam. The Acropolis was only uncovered in 1998, dug out from under a mound of earth. Quite amazing that it was hidden for so long!!
Stray dog making good use of the stairs at the bottom of the Acropolis
Some random hole in the ground here. Not sure what this was but is on the side of the Acropolis that is claimed to be the burial site of Ukit Kan Leʼk Tok so maybe he is in that hole somewhere.
Some of the phenomenal stucco carvings on the outside of the temple, halfway up the Acropolis. This side of the Acropolis is called the Jaguar Altar
Halfway up the Acropolis steps. Sweat was dripping off in the 35-degree heat and 100% humidity.
Halfway up the Acropolis on the east side are what appear to be more temples with roofing still in place.
Looking back down the steps to the south
The rest of the village is to the south of the acropolis and appears in a clearing in the jungle.
View from the top of the "Oval Palace" back towards the Acropolis. On the left, you can see "The Twins", two buildings that are topped off with two temples. Just beyond the twins, you can just about make out the ballcourt.
These were my favourite of the ruins we visited. Easy to access and you can still climb the main ruin and get great views from the top. I'd definitely recommend going if you are in the Yucatan area.
All of these images were taken with the Canon 10-22mm on the Canon 60D.
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