Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche

Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche

Calakmul (/ˌkɑːlɑːkˈmuːl/; also Kalakmul and other less frequent variants) is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Maya lowlands.

Calakmul was a major Maya power within the northern Petén region of the Yucatán of southern Mexico. Calakmul administered a large domain marked by the extensive distribution of their emblem glyph of the snake head sign, to be read “Kaan”. Calakmul was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Snake or Snake Kingdom. This Snake Kingdom reigned during most of the Classic period. Calakmul itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 people and had governance, at times, over places as far away as 150 kilometers. There are 6,750 ancient structures identified at Calakmul; the largest of which is the great pyramid at the site. Structure 2 is over 45 metres (148 ft) high, making it one of the tallest of the Maya pyramids. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid. Like many temples or pyramids within Mesoamerica the pyramid at Calakmul increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size. The size of the central monumental architecture is approximately 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) and the whole of the site, mostly covered with dense residential structures, is about 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi).

Throughout the Classic Period, Calakmul maintained an intense rivalry with the major city of Tikal to the south, and the political manoeuvrings of these two cities have been likened to a struggle between two Maya superpowers.

Rediscovered from the air by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell of the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company on December 29, 1931, the find was reported to Sylvanus G. Morley of the Carnegie Institute at Chichen Itza in March 1932.

Outline
Calakmul (/ˌkɑːlɑːkˈmuːl/; also Kalakmul and other less frequent variants) is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Viñales Valley

    Viñales Valley

  2. L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

    L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

  3. Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo and the Historic District of Panama

    Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo and the Historic District of Panama

  1. La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

    La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

  2. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

    Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

  3. Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite National Park

  1. Pitons Management Area

    Pitons Management Area

  2. Pre-Historical City of Chichen Itza

    Pre-Historical City of Chichen Itza

  3. Ruins of León Viejo

    Ruins of León Viejo

  1. Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

    Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

  2. Mesa Verde National Park

    Mesa Verde National Park

  3. Tikal National Park

    Tikal National Park

  1. Redwood National and State Parks

    Redwood National and State Parks

  2. Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

    Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

  3. León Cathedral

    León Cathedral

  1. Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

    Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

  2. Mammoth Cave National Park

    Mammoth Cave National Park

  3. Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia

    Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia

  1. Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

    Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

  2. Historic Centre of Puebla

    Historic Centre of Puebla

  3. The Rideau Canal

    The Rideau Canal

  1. Historic Town of Morelia

    Historic Town of Morelia

  2. Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

    Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

  3. Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

    Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

  1. Chaco Culture

    Chaco Culture

  2. Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

    Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

  3. Nahanni National Park

    Nahanni National Park

  1. Luis Barragán House and Studio

    Luis Barragán House and Studio

  2. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison

    Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison

  3. Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site

    Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site

  1. Morne Trois Pitons National Park

    Morne Trois Pitons National Park

  2. Old Town Lunenburg

    Old Town Lunenburg

  3. University of Virginia

    University of Virginia

  1. Miguasha National Park

    Miguasha National Park

  2. Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes

    Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes

  3. Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo

    Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo

  1. Independence Hall

    Independence Hall

  2. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

    Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

  3. Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl

    Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top