Ek’Balam – Black Jaguar Warrior

  • Ek’Balam, Yucatan
  • All day tour or half day tour

Ek Balam is a name in the Mayan Language, formed by the word Ek’, with which the black color is called and which also means “star”; and Balam, which means “Jaguar”. It can then be translared as “Dark or Black Jaguar”.

The entrance to this site, protected by two walls, begins with a magnificent Mayan arch. The other important buildings of the ceremonial center are the oval palace and a good size Mayan ball game.

Ek’Balam had its maximum development during the Late Classic/Terminal (600-850 / 900 AD) and that possibly was the seat of the kingdom of “Tlalol”. The first known king of Ek’Balam is Ukit Kan Le’t Tok (the father of the four flint fronts) who was the builder of most of the sumptuous palace that we now know as Acropolis and many other works. Likewise, he was a promoter of technical and cultural advances, as well as architectural and decorative wealth, whose best example is The Acropolis, on the north side.

The Acropolis (fortified place built in the highest part of the city), is the largest structure and contains the tomb Ukit Kan Le’k Tok ‘. It measures 146 meters long, 55 meters wide and 29 meters high.

The plaster frieze, splendidly preserved, covers the door with open jaws and the fangs of a snake or monster; above these, the king on his throne and, on the sides, the figures of winged warriors. It is believed that it is preserved as it would have been protected by the king’s son to prevent the looting of more than 7,000 pieces such as ceramic vessels, shell, snail and tumbaga objects that had been buried as offerings with King Tlalol.

The pictorial style of Ek’Balam is considered one of the best in the Mayan area, since, being a naturalist, he expresses in a very real way, with the correct proportions and with remarkable delicacy and plasticity, the representations of deities and mythical beings in the painted covers , as well as human beings and animals represented on the walls of buildings.

The archaeological site has a total of 45 buildings, including: The circular building, built in the south and known as the Oval Palace; The ball game; The twin pyramids; a stele that represents a ruler of Ek Balam and a beautiful arch, which serves as an entrance or door among others.

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