Ekʼ Balam - Ancient Mayan Village Ruins.

HI all

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.

Thanks for reading


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15.08.2019 22:23


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15.08.2019 22:25

Awesome! I have been wanting to go visit one of these places for so long. There is so much history there. It is amazing that the structures have lasted so long.

15.08.2019 23:11

Yeah, quite amazing that these were only fully uncovered just over 20 years ago. Makes you wonder what else is out there

16.08.2019 07:12

Amazing place, and even more amazinger that it was buried and remained undiscovered for so long :O I would love to visit this place one day, for sure :O

The photographs are really nice, Mark, I really like how you captured the heat in your shots, as well :)

That stucco carving must be very beautiful in real ___ Aaah~

16.08.2019 01:02

My camera certainly captured the heat. I made the mistake of taking the lens off at one point and the whole of the inside of the camera steamed up for about 20 minutes. It was all pretty impressive considering it was built so long ago. Those ancient civilisations were certainly good at this stuff. I bet if you threw a load of people together nowadays they wouldnt have a clue how to build something like this.

16.08.2019 07:13

This is so cool Mark I am totally jealous of your vacay. Actually just in the last year or two scientists have been using AI to re-analyze satellite imagery of the jungle and have discovered TONS of cities and ruins that had been previously unknown. Not just in the Yucatan, but interestingly even in areas of the Amazon that were not thought to be densely inhabited they are discovering there were complex city states.

Man that shot from part way up the stairs really puts it in perspective! Wow can you imagine building these by hand. So impressive.

16.08.2019 20:00

Love these photos, and very cool that this site lets you climb up one of them.

16.08.2019 21:53

What a beautiful spot you got to, @markangeltrueman. It's amazing to see how perfect everything looks after being buried so long. And the view at the top was certainly worth the effort. You last shot really shows the gigantic scale of this place. Thank you for taking us along :)

17.08.2019 17:34