With Mexico Cassie at Oxkintok and Pomuch
Along with Addie at Mexiday we left Merida at a civilized time on Saturday morning. The weather was humid but cloudy. After a quick 75 minute drive I mistakenly directly Addie to one of the entrances to the Oxkintok archaeological site - the wrong one. The one that while not completely full of mind-numbing potholes is ridiculously overgrown on each side of the path. Luckily, there looked to be no permanent damage to the car but its always funny to hear Addie curse in Spanish!
Our goal at Oxkintok was to check out the indications of the very long occupation of the site and learn a little about the proto-Puuc architectural style. Our first stop was the Dzib plaza where we noted the circular temezcal or sweat bath and the very ancient ball court almost adjacent.
Before we left the plaza Cassie was examining the large arch. This structure is Puuc which can be see by the use of cantilevered stones to create more of a "real" arch allowing for larger and higher interior spaces. Check out the photo below:
Next stop was the Satunsat or Labyrith as is know colloquially. It is a structure that was used ritually displaying three levels with interior rooms. At one point many years ago you could get a look at the interior but not any more. The largest funeral cache was discovered here including a beautiful jade mask. Interestingly, it was a reburial, something that was common at Oxkintok. I'm not 100% sure but it would seem to me a perfect set up for the ruler to make preparations and carry out rituals. I see the three levels as the underworld, the earth and the heavens. The ruler would pass between these levels.
In the May plaza we spent a lot of time at Structure 1 know for its Teotihuacan influenced tablud-tablero style architecture (from the Peten) and its Proto-Puuc style. We were able to see a bit of both:
We finished up the Oxkintok visit with a walk through of Ah Canul a former center of ritual activity and stelas. The most intense building period at the site was 500 - 600 AD and the influence from the Peten is unmistakable:
Finally in a palace area at Ah Canul we saw the earlier Proto-Puuc style before the use of cantilevered stones:
Because Cassie is so interested in the Day of the Dead, Addie drove to Pomuch and we visited the cemetery, bought some pan de Pomuch and had a very tasty lunch. Five days before the Day of the Dead the local residents visit the crypts and lovingly clean and brush the remains of their family members, still fondly remembered.
Thanks to Addie for driving and teaching us everything to do with Pomuch and Cassie for the great company and questions. I wholeheartedly recommend Mexico Cassie; check out her blog and facebook pages: