Home Headlines New museum seeks to boost tourism in Yucatan’s archaeological zone of Kabah

New museum seeks to boost tourism in Yucatan’s archaeological zone of Kabah

by Magali Alvarez
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Merida – A museum being built in the archaeological zone of Kabah, the majestic pre-Columbian city dedicated to Chaac, the Mayan god of rain, located in Yucatan, southern Mexico, seeks to boost tourism in the region, said Mexican cultural authorities.

“The Puuc Archaeological Museum, which is being built on the site with resources from the Archaeological Zone Improvement Program (Promeza) derived from the Mayan Train, will be a driver of tourism in the region,” José Arturo Chab Cárdenas, director of the INAH Yucatán Center, told EFE.

The museum, planned to narrate the history of the Maya along the Puuc Route, which in the Mayan language means highlands and includes the cities of Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Labná, Xlapak, Chacmultún and the Loltún Caves, “is just beginning to take shape”.

The museum will be outside the monumental area of the archaeological zone that is divided by a federal highway, and “it will be built exactly in front of the Great Pyramid so that in the future the highway detour will be managed”.

The site will exhibit the results of more than 20 years of research and discoveries, such as two stelae from Uxmal, the trousseau of an Itzá warrior, masks of the god Chaac and a jade offering.

Chab Cárdenas explained that there are two lines of work in Kabah: one of investigation in charge of María de Lourdes Toscano and another of restoration headed by Natalia Hernández Tangarife that will allow to understand the site and to rediscover the Codz Poop Temple (rolled up carpet in Maya) or Palace of the Chaac’s Masks.

In Kabah, the ancient Maya used to collect rainwater

Tour guide Jesús Marcos Delgado Ku explained to EFE that Kabah means “powerful hand” in the Mayan language and was a pre-Hispanic city dedicated to agriculture, “its splendor was recorded from 300 to 900 A.D.”

Unlike other great Mayan cities, such as Chichen Itza, Tulum or Dzibilchaltun that “had access to water thanks to the cenotes, Kabah collected the vital liquid from the rain,” he said.

The ancient inhabitants built their palaces and temples between hills, “but classifying spaces for agriculture and creating around them enormous chultunes, a subway rainwater collection and storage system in the shape of a bottle”, said Delgado.

He noted that the Codz Poop, dating from the Terminal Classic period (650-950 A.D.), is one of the 82 most important buildings at Kabah and its 250 Chaac masks are attractive to the few tourists who tour the site.

On the back of the façade, restorers finished two sculptures (one headless) of the Tutul dynasty dignitaries who ruled Kabah.

“In total, seven sculptures of the Lords of the mighty hand were found at this archaeological site, but two were taken to museums,” he reported.

On the east side of Kabah there are palaces, stelae of dignitaries and warriors, tombs, the Codz Poop and other buildings under investigation.

In the west, there are religious and astronomical temples, ceremonial quadrangles, the Temple of the Red Hands, the Great Pyramid and the Triumphal Arch that welcomes from the Sacbé of Uxmal, the most important pre-Hispanic city of the Puuc Route.

“There is a group called Early Central, another called Los Altos where there are unrestored pyramids and the Temple of the Red Hands that are disabled for tourism,” he said.

Research is still needed, but it is believed that these hands mark the presence of elite characters who lived in the splendor of Kabah “when the priests depended on the calendrical system to sow and collect rainwater”.

TYT Newsroom

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