Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal

Uxmal lies about halfway between Campeche and the town of Merida, but as the latter has a bus out to the site every few hours and Campeche does not,  that was where I travelled to next. As I was checking in to my hostel I was greeted by the Swiss girl I’d met on bus from Oaxaca to Palenque. and the next day both she and the two girls I’d met in a cyber cafe in Palenque were on the same bus out to the ruins. It seems that once in the Yucatan everyone travels the same route. And although it’s getting ahead of myself, I bumped into them all again two days later in Chichen Itza. Incidentally, Merida has the same street numbering system as Campeche and so it seems do all the towns and villages in this part of Mexico.

Uxmal

Uxmal

Uxmal is late Mayan town built from around 700 to 1000 in the local Puuc style of architecture. This is characterised by the horizontal division of the facades of buildings into a lower undecorated portion pierced by doorways and an upper area covered with intricate geometric stone friezes, often depicting the large-nosed rain god Chaac.

Uxmal

Uxmal

UNESCO describes the ceremonial buildings as representing “the pinnacle of late Mayan art and architecture in their design, layout and ornamentation”. Certainly, what struck me as so different from sites I visited previously, such as Teotihuacan and Xochicalco, is the use of three-dimensional stone decoration rather than moulded stucco although as far as I can tell the stonework  was finished with a layer of stucco smooth it out and presumably take paint.

Uxmal

Uxmal

A great many of the structures are still roofed with their corbelled vaults or perhaps have been restored. Certainly some have at least been propped up with wood or reinforced concrete lintels inserted over doorways.

Uxmal

Uxmal

The construction method here has a skin of well cut stones over a core of concrete and rubble as this end view of partially collapsed vault shows:

Uxmal - vault construction

Uxmal - vault construction

This is another site where a great deal still lies under the jungle. It also as a lot of large lizards wandering around which may or may not be iguanas (herpetology is not my strong point).

lizard at Uxmal

lizard at Uxmal

For the Lego model I’ve taken part of the facade overlooking the courtyard at the base of the large pyramid temple.

Uxmal

Uxmal

 

This seemed to be the frieze texture most easily rendered with the bricks at my disposal.

Lego Uxmal

Lego Uxmal

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