Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
Prev / The Americas / Mexico / Tulum Next

"Tulum was one of the last cities to be built and inhabited by the Mayans. The city thrived mainly from the 15th to the 16th centry. It was originally called Zama, which means "Dawn" and is related to its location, which lies on the extreme eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, directly facing the sunrise. It is a walled city, reflecting the turbulent political situation of the time.

"The enormous walls, which defend its three landward sides, has only five small and narrow entrances. There are more than fifty buildings within the wall, most of which were temples dedicated to religious ceremonies, while others served as living quarters for the lords and priests.

"They were all constructed following a pattern: the major buildings lie in the center and from there, two roads branch out heading north and south, along which most of the platforms are aligned. On top of these were wood houses with thatched roofs, which have not withstood the effects of time.

"Commoners did not live within Tulum itself, but rather in the surrounding countryside. The only times they entered the city was to assist at religious ceremonies or attend matters with the lords who held a government office.

"Tulum was a richly decorated city in which all the temples were painted. Some of them boasted murals not only on the inside but on the outside as well. The facades were adorned with sculptures and stucco reliefs.

"You are about to visit a Mayan site which was"

...Which was what? Only the Mayans know...

"On the corners of the wall, there are a pair of temples which are called 'towers', although it is unlikely the played any defensive role. They have three doors and there is an alter against the back wall where offerings were deposited. Above the moldings of the facade there is a panel with geometric designs which were originally painted."

What does this have to do with the picture you ask? Nothing, but I didn't get a picture of the towers.
"One of the architectural characteristics of this region is the presence of very small constructions which are scaled down reproductions of the typical temples of the coast, including their lintels and moldings. These probably functioned as shrines where offerings were deposited, since their size made them inaccessible to people."
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"This structure is so-called because it was built over a circular platform, (infrequently found), which is associated with the Wind God in all Mesoamerica, in this case, Kukulkan. The temple is built in the typical manner, being rectangular, with a single door and an overly decorated alter in the background. In the upper part of the facade there are two moldings and the corners, on top of the roof, were originally decorated with small stucco statues."
(Coming soon)
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"This building conserves most of the decorative elements of Tulum. It has two levels, at which the lower level is comprised of two temples, one within the other, where the decoration is concentrated. The facade of the inner temple is decorated with mural paintings, while that of the outer temple boasts stucco figures in bas-relief, including masks in the corner, sculptures in three niches in the facade - the central one is a representation of the descending god - and human figures intertwined in the frieze. The temple of the upper level is very simple as its decoration consists of red-colored hand prints."

Copyright 2017 - David Barrett -