Mérida is not only the capital of Yucatán, but also a gateway to some of the most magnificent Maya cities in Mesoamerica, such as Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Ek-Balam. But did you know that Mérida itself is also a treasure trove of archaeological sites, both large and small, that reveal the rich and complex history of the Maya civilization?
For instance, the area that is now Mérida’s downtown was once a flourishing Maya city called Ichcanzijó, or T’Hó, before the Spanish conquest. Ichcanzijó is thought to have been established in the 5th Century BCE, but there are traces of other settlements that go back more than a thousand years earlier.
Another example is the modern neighborhood of Caucel, which was the location of thousands of prehispanic structures, hundreds of which still exist today. However, many of them, such as Xaman Susula, are hidden by vegetation and difficult to access.
Although there is no scholarly agreement that Caucel was a unified city-state in ancient times, the large number of temples in the area, dating from roughly the same period, and the presence of ancient roads (sacbè) suggest that Caucel might have been a Nohoch (meaning big) city.
One of the biggest concentrations of prehispanic archaeology in Mérida can be found in the settlement known as Chen Hó, which is considered one of the oldest elite suburbs of the Maya world.
One of the most impressive archaeological complexes in Mérida is located within Ya’axtal Park. The site, also known as Xoclan, features several remarkable structures, including what is probably the largest pyramid within the city’s ring road.
If you are interested in learning more about these hidden Maya treasures of Mérida, email us to join our group on Saturday, Feb. 10, for a day trip to several of Mérida’s archaeological highlights guided by Carlos Rosado van der Gracht (yours truly).
For more information read the original article here
Source: Yucatan Magazine