In 1993, Calakmul City in Campeche was recognized by the Mexican government under the Man and the Biosphere Program. The city happens to be an important archaeological Maya site that is located in the larger Calakmul Biosphere Reserve on the Yucatan Peninsula. The ecological reserve was created in 1989, and boasts the tag of being the largest of its kind in southern Mexico.
The Cultural activity of the city reached its zenith in the Late Classical Period from 542 to 695 AD. Past this period, the Mayan center of power moved further north to Yucatan, Palenque, Uxmal before finally settling in Chichen-Itza. By 900 AD, Calakmul was no longer influential and was completely abandoned in the 1530s. When a Spanish conqueror known as Alonso de Avila did an exploration mission in the peninsula, he only found pockets of settlements of a people called the Cehaches that were most likely the descendants of Calakmul.
A portion of this extensive old settlement has been explored and categorized in 3 groups as follows:
- Western Zone – There are a large group of buildings that surround open spaces and which covers 450x350 meters
- Eastern Zone – Here, you will find a similar group, although slightly smaller
- Central Zone – This zone is nestled between the Western Zone and Central Zone and covers an area of 400 by 400 meters. Here you will find large open public spaces. The structures in this zone date from all the periods of the occupation – 12 centuries to be precise. It is also in this zone that you find the Structure II, which is the earliest Calakmul structure to be found. Within the structure, you will find a substructure that is barrel vaulted and which covers an area of 22 square meters.
The city of Calakmul represents exchange of influences over 12 centuries, starting from 4th century BC. The exchanges ranged from political, cultural and economic and hence the spread of the Maya culture in the region. The exchange was especially intensified due to the rivalry from Tikal.
The assemblage you will find here is evidence of the existence of a rich culture, which unfortunately has vanished from the face of the earth. By visiting this site, you will be keeping this culture alive…by taking photographs of the city; you will be committing the city to eternal history.
For more information on accommodation in Calakmul or flights to Mexico, please contact one of the Travel Specialists at North South Travel today