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Pre-Hispanic Ruins of Uxmal, Mexico
[an error occurred while processing this directive] The Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal is a site of pre-Columbian ruins that is today celebrated as a World Heritage Site. It is a Maya site in the state of Yucatán, about 78 km to the south of Mérida.
Uxmal was established by the Mayan people in AD 700. According to Maya chronicles, however, Uxmal was founded in AD 500 by Hun Uitzil Chac Tutul Xiu, who established the dynasty that ruled over Uxmal for generations. The city reached its height during the Late Classic Mayan period, from 850 to 925 AD. After that, its power began to decline. The city was conquered by Toltec invaders in AD 1000, which destroyed the culture, and by AD 1100, the site was largely abandoned.
Uxmal, with views of The Governor's Palace, Nunnery Quadrangle and Pyramid of the Magician
When the Spanish conquered Yucatán in 1550, they recorded that the Uxmal site was still inhabited, suggesting that it was not entirely abandoned. However the Spanish did not develop the area, and eventually Uxmal became uninhabited.
Uxmal was rediscovered in the 19th century when it was visited by French antiquarian Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck in the 1830s. Waldeck publiched his account in Voyage pittoresque et archéologique dans la province d'Yucatan pendant les années 1834 et 1836 (Paris).
Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal
This led - directly or indirectly to the visits made by American explorer John Lloyd Stephens and English artist Frederick Catherwood to explore the lost city. Together, they published a number of bestseller books, with text by Stephens and drawings by Catherwood, recounting their adventures in rediscovering the Maya civilization, among them, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán and Incidents of Travel in Yucatán.
Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal was inscribed as a World Heritage Site during the 20th session of the World Heritage Committee in Mérida, Mexico, 2 - 7 December, 1996.
Eastern frieze at the Governor's Palace, Uxmal
World Heritage Site Inscription DetailsLocation: N20 21 42 W89 46 13 in the municipalities of Muna and Santa Elena, in the state of Yucatan, in Mexico.
Inscription Year: 1996
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: I, II, III
Notesworthy Ruins at UxmalAll the names of Uxmal ruins are translations of names given by the Spanish, as their original names have long been lost.
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