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Kalakmul

From Academic Kids

Calakmul is the name of both a municipality and a major archeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, in the central part of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Municipality

The municipality (municipio) of Calakmul was created on 31 December 1996. It borders to the east with Quintana Roo and Belize, to the south with Guatemala, and to the north and west with other municipalities in the state. It covers 13,839 km², accounting for 24.34% of the state's total surface area.

The municipal seat is the city of Xpujil, a small settlement of some 1000 inhabitants located on Federal Highway 186 as it crosses the base of the peninsula from EscᲣega, Campeche, to Chetumal, Quintana Roo.

Archeological site

Calakmul (also Kalakmul and other less frequent variants) is also the name given to site of one of the largest ancient Mayan cities ever uncovered. It is located in the 1,800,000 acre Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, deep in the jungles of the [[Pet鮝], 30 km from the Guatemalan border.

First discovered from the air by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell of the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company on December 29, 1931, the find was reported to Sylvanus G. Morley of the Carnegie Institute at Chichen Itza in March 1932. According to Lundell, who named the site, "In Maya, 'ca' means 'two', 'lak' means 'adjacent', and 'mul' signifies any artificial mound or pyramid, so 'Calakmul' is the 'City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids'."

Calakmul was the major seat of power of the Kaan or "Kingdom of the Snake", which first arose further north but built Calakmul into a Late Classic Era superpower ally of Caracol and rival to Tikal. A series of 11 painted vessels, dubbed Dynastic Vases, describe the ascensions of the Kaan rulers, including ancestral and legendary figures.

Calakmul probably supported a population of over 50,000, and so far more than 6,250 structures have been discovered in an area of up to 70 square kilometers with a substantial northern wall and a series of water management features (Calakmul's reservoirs include the largest in the Mayan world) delineating a dense core of 22 square kilometers. Calakmul's 45 meter pyramid "Structure 2" is the largest Classic Era Mayan temple platform known. Many of the city's monuments and structures are constructed of chalky local limestone, which has made interpretation of the site difficult.

After a long period of inactivity following Morely's 1932 expedition, the city was explored by William Folan between 1984 and 1994, and is now the subject of a large-scale project of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) under Ram󮠃arrasco.

Known rulers of Calakmul

(Note that this list is not continuous, as the archaeological record is incomplete)

  • Unknown: Yuknoom Ch'een I
  • c.520–546: Tuun K'ab' Hix
  • c.561–572: Sky Witness
  • 572–579: First Axewielder
  • 579–c.611: Scroll Serpent
  • c.619: Yuknoon Chan
  • 622–630: Tajoom Uk'ab' K'ak'
  • 630–636: Yuknoom Head
  • 636–686: Yuknoom the Great
  • 686–c.695: Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ak'
  • c695: Split Earth
  • c.702–c.731: Yuknoom Took' K'awil
  • c.736: Wamaw K'awil
  • c.741: Ruler Y
  • c.751: Ruler Z
  • c.771–c.789: B'olon K'awil
  • c.849: Chan Pet
  • c.909: Aj Took'
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