A guest post by the awesome monkeylady, a regular in our Forums.
My husband Monkeymister and I are deeply interested in the Mayan history of southern Mexico and beyond. This past March, we made another trip to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site in the southern Mexican state of Campeche, which borders on Guatemala. Calakmul encompasses 2792 square miles and archaeologists estimate that thousands of unexcavated Mayan ruin sites exist here. On this trip, we visited two sites, Balamku and Becan, both within the Biosphere. Balamku features a large, elaborate plaster façade. Dating from the early Classic Period (300-500 AD), it is one of the largest surviving stucco friezes in the known ancient Mayan world. Becan is an elegant Mayan city featuring a huge defense ditch, or becan, and it dates from the early Classic Period 550 BCE. Because of the ditch, the development and siting of buildings within the city was uniquely compressed.
Jungle access to Balamku
Main palace, Balamku
Stuck in the mud on the way to unexcavated ruins with guides
A Yucatan Jay letting us know that we are NOT invited to breakfast
A Mayan street at Becan
Main pyramid at Becan
Mask frieze at Becan
Central Plaza, Izamal, Yucatan, sacred Mayan city.
Entrance to a pyramid in the middle of the city of Izamal. There are four such pyramids within the commercial district limits, with neighborhood and houses, right across the street.
A traditional Mayan house in Izamal
A closeup of the Temple of the Soldiers, Chichen Itza
monkeylady going on a stroll with her trusty Side Effect in color Aubergine
monkeylady, retired and living in the Seattle area, avidly tends her one-acre ornamental and vegetable garden along with her many chickens, and in her spare time travels to indulge her love of tropical plants, animals, and ancient ruins.