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Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Magician

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Mexico.

  • Photo of Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Magician
  • Photo of Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Magician
  • Photo of Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Magician
Photo of Uxmal and the Pyramid of the Magician
Photo by flickr user malias
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Uxmal was the greatest metropolitan and religious Mayan center in the Puuc hills of Yucatan during the late Classical period, flourishing between the 7th and 10th centuries AD. Uxmal translates as 'thrice built' and, whatever the actual number, the numerous building phases are reflected in a variety of architectural styles. The city was abandoned in the 10th century after apparently coming under Toltec influence. The Pyramid of the Magician, soaring to 100 feet, is the tallest structure in Uxmal. According to ancient legend, a magician-god named Itzamna was supposed to have constructed the pyramid in one night. From archaeological excavation however, we know that the pyramid was constructed in five superimposed phases over a period of many years. The legendary association of the pyramid with a magician may be understood as an indication that the structure, and indeed the entire sacred part of the Uxmal complex, had ancient and ongoing use as a mystery school and ceremonial center. It is also interesting to note that the entire city is aligned with reference to the position of the planets then known, with Venus predominating, and that the pyramid of the magician is oriented so that its stairway on the west faces the setting sun at the time of summer solstice.

Photo: Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal

Uxmal Information from Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Other expert and press reviews

“Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal”

Monuments of the city, Uxmal Proyecto Mexico INAH © UNESCO The Mayan town of Uxmal, in Yucatán, was founded c. A.D.… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

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