Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 6 - Edzna ruins and mas Campeche

We started out today by heading an hour east of Campeche to the Mayan ruin site of Edzna. This rarely visited Mayan ruin was spectacular in size and beauty and we had the place essentially to ourselves. The above photo is of the 102 ft Temple of the Five Stories, aptly named because it underwent five different renovations. The structure at the very top of the temple is a roof comb, and was added to the temple to make it appear even higher.

Standing atop the much smaller but no less impressive Nohoch-Na (Big House), I was on a mission to find evidence of Edzna's 14 mile canal system. This area of the Yucatan peninsula receives less rain than the eastern side and is prone to drought. To compensate for this, and support a city of tens of thousands, the Mayans constructed a system of water canals for irrigation, flood control, and to replenish their water supply.

This large bas relief mask of the Mayan sun god was found in Edzna's Temple of the Masks. Although it is hard to see, the cheeks are scarred, the ears have ornaments, and the teeth are filed to a point. These are all indications of Mayan nobility. Original traces of red paint are still visible on the masks in this temple.

The amount of limestone that was shaped and made into numerous temples and structures here at Edzna is incredible.

And archaeologists are still excavating Edzna and finding new buildings every year!

Following our trip to Edzna this morning, we returned to Campeche for lunch. Josh was happy to find his carne, pepper, and onion tacos spicy for once! Sometimes we receive the "gringo" spice level (none) by default so we always ask for our food the way we like it - with lots of flavor and spice!

Campeche has a great malecon (waterfront walkway) for strolling along the Gulf of Mexico. It is at least five miles long, and that is just the part we walked. Such a beautiful city!

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