Posted 12 July, 2013 by Stuart Torres in Heritage



LOCATION: Flowers, Petén.
HOURS: Of 8:00 a 16:00 hours (Lunes a Domingo)
COLLECTION OF INCOME: No admission is charged.



GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION: Uaxactún is host to 23 miles al norte de Tikal. The city is surrounded by numerous low covered by dense vegetation. Access to the site is by Tikal, by a dirt road leading to the village Uaxactún. The site is under the administration of the Tikal National Park forming part of the same protected area of ​​the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

TEMPORADALIDAD: Occupation from the Middle Preclassic (500-250 A.C.) the Early Postclassic (900-1200 D.C.).

Rediscovery YEAR: This site was discovered by chicleros groups who knew the place like San Leandro and then Bambonal, but it was not until the year of 1916 that was released in the international scientific world by Sylvanus Morley.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY: Uaxactún name or Siaan K'aan (Born of Heaven), also known by the name of "Eight Stone" of: Uaxac meaning eight and tun, stone that was given by Sylvanus Morley, because the first was found dated inscription on Stela 9, and was Morley who released the site in the year 1916. The layout of the city had to adapt to the ground conditions, so that the groups are not altogether. It consists of eight groups scattered in five elevations architectural natural, surrounded by many residential complexes. Groups literal structures are designated by A to H, the main buildings are oriented according to the cardinal directions.

Groups A, B, E and H are the main architectural complexes Site. The most monumental whole site is in Group A, which has 34 buildings, an acropolis, several palaces and squares. Group B is the set most of the area, features 36 buildings, including the only Ball and Structure B-XIII, a palace is decorated with a mural. In Group E is Structure E-VII-sub who represents a complex Astronomical Commemoration, aimed at observing solstices and equinoxes.


The archaeological site Uaxactún has a long occupation dating back to the Preclassic period. The first evidence of human activity, are dated to Pre-Mamom times, although building activity corresponds to circular and rectangular platforms Phase Mamom (500 A.C. – 350 A.C.) found in Group E. Towards Phase Chicanel (350 A.C.-250 D.C.), site had a noticeable increase constructive.

For the Late Preclassic (250 A.C.-250 D.C.) Monumental buildings were made around the place in Group A, including without temple pyramids and the first version of CCA Astronomical Commemoration Complex, and the triadic complex in Group E, development of large stucco masks and friezes that decorated the vaulted structures architectural complex of Group H. This period marks the beginning of the socio-political complexity of the Mayan Lowlands. During the Early Classic (250 A.C.-600 D.C.) Uaxactún already a well established center with extensive important places in Groups A and B, which feature sculpted monuments with inscriptions that refer to rulers. The first local ruler is portrayed on Stela 9, the oldest of the site is dated to the 327 D.C.

There is an extensive embankment between Tikal and Uaxactún, possibly served to the Preclassic period as a kind of border mark between the two sites, perhaps suggesting that these sites could be adversaries. According to the inscriptions on the steles 4, 5 and 22 Uaxactún was invaded 16 January 378 D.C. by Siyaj K'ahk and from that moment until Uaxactún Tikal dominated the rest of the Early Classic period.

During the hiatus in the first half of the Late Classic, period of time that included almost 150 years old, were allowed to erect monuments carved, so little is known of the history of Uaxactún for this moment. During the second half of the Late Classic population increased at the site and there were new buildings and renovations in the main groups.

Stela 12, the last monument of the site, for 889 D.C. notes that royalty still remained in power and mentions a ritual of self-sacrifice of the local ruler in K'al Chik'in Chakte Chaan Hasaw company K'awil II the last ruler of Tikal. After this event started the collapse and abandonment of the site.

After the recognition of Morley 1916, were performed excavation and mapping of the structures by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, between 1926 and 1937. Later there was a time of abandonment of site investigations, which caused the destruction and deterioration of several major buildings were operated by the Carnegie, Structure especially A-V, it was virtually dismantled. In 1937 Carnegie Project discovered a mural of the late Early Classic one chamber of Structure B-XIII, palatial complex scenes including elite over 30 numerous characters and hieroglyphs. Unfortunately were destroyed by looters shortly after its discovery.

In 1974 was a consolidation program in Structure E-VII-sub led by Edwin Shook with the help of Juan Pedro Laporte and Enrique Monterroso, This work included an assessment of the main buildings of the site. As a result of this evaluation, Tikal National Project conducted a salvage project between 1983 and 1985 formed by Guatemalan archaeologists, by Juan Antonio Valdés, with funding from the Government of Guatemala. As a result the filling was performed, consolidation and restoration of structures to collapse, and carried out archaeological research in several areas of the site especially in Group H, where they found a set of masks in stucco.

Since 2009 Archaeological Project was initiated SAHI-Uaxactún performed by the Slovak Institute of Archaeology and History, de Bratislava, Slovakia whose main objective is to complete the research on the site for previous projects, addition to restoration work in the Ball Group B and the masks of some of the main structures, and a new mapping program and research site at peripheral sites.



It has a temporary occupation from the Late Preclassic to the Late Classic (fases Chicanel, Tzacol and Tepeu). It is the largest of all groups of the site and was the first to be discovered by Morley. This group consists of more than 30 structures different proportions. The most important of the buildings in this group, Maybe it's the Palatial Complex known as AV, which has structural overlays. This structure is found in the central part of the group, came with the building of temples A, B and C level built on a platform coated housing covering the earlier times, these temples are examples of triadic pattern.

It is also the largest palace Site, Structure A-XVIII, has several stelae and altars carved smooth, one of the most important shrines was the A-Sub-9 is the only round altar in the Maya area which consists of three bodies and when discovered was covered with red paint. It possesses three group the roads sacbeob, currently the most visible being that joins this group with Group B and has a length of 225 m.


This group was built in the Early Classic (phase Tzacol). Among the buildings that stand out in this group is the structure or Ball BV.


This group has shown one occupation Tzakol Classic Temprano with a possible abandonment (at least in its central) to Tepeu or Late Classic times. It is located northeast of the Group B. The constructions of this group of elite buildings shown to be very well maintained and with high quality construction.


This group is located west of the E, was recently investigated by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In years 1983 a 1985, research program settlement pattern conducted by the National Project Tikal made some boreholes and made a new map (Peace 1985; Acevedo 1986). From 1987 was seen as a priority a program of rescue archeology in Group D, shape in the years 1988 and 1989. This group had a residential function elitist and public service, therefore dedicated to provide accommodation to persons of the elite, and possibly performing administrative activities. As manifested in the structural characteristics of the group of buildings. The structures of this group are classified as residential and non-residential. Residential structures are those that are not defined as temples, altars and platforms, and have character or associate home. Among these could be mentioned chambers, kitchens, warehouses or other mounds no fully established function. Of the 49 structures that exist in the group, 38 of them fall into this category.


In Group E was built what has been called Complex Astronomical Commemoration, Complex Public Rituals, Observatory, simply type the Group E, in honor of this complex discovered in Uaxactún, it was the first building of its kind discovered in the Maya area.


From Group F, has a Late Preclassic occupation Chicanel or more intense and robust to date. Although the activity seems to have been interrupted during the Early Classic, it is resumed for a short time in the Late Classic to build an altar in the middle of the North Plaza Group.


This group is located to the northwest of the epicenter of Uaxactún. This site had activity in three architectural, including a residential yard, a sector and a more palatial complex that includes a square pyramidal mound.


This group has an overall occupancy torn between phases and Tzakol Chicanel (Terminal Preclassic and Classic Temprano 250 D.C.-550 D.C.). It has a pair of giant stucco masks (to the sides of the access to the platform). It has an architectural complex whose characteristics define a triadic Acropolis. Structure H-I, a building of approximately 12 m height, is the main structure of pyramidal, and its north and south sides are lower height side structures. In buildings of this group exploded stucco imagery and murals to transfer messages by religious and cosmogonic. Constructive and occupational activity in Group H would cease by the year 250 D.C. (during the transition from the Preclassic to Early Classic), this would be buried and abandoned.

Taken from larutamayaonline.com 2006.

Site map, conducted by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. 1937



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Stuart Torres