Oxkintok means in Maya “Three Priests from The Flint” (it
can also mean “Three Days of Burning” or “Many Blood
Parties”). Oxkintok is in the farthest occidental region of
the Puuc Route
and it is characterized by the great antiquity of its
calendar inscriptions (475 and 487 AC), for its
anthropomorphic stone columns, and its guardians. Most
famous, however, are the structures, such as the Satunsat,
that make up a labyrinth.
Oxkintok is one of the oldest cities in
Stellas and inscriptions found here have provided valuable
information on the Mayan culture. Its architecture is
representative of the splendid Puuc style. It was mentioned
by Fray Antonio de Ciudad Real during the colonial period as
a site of "many ancient buildings." In the 19th century,
John L. Stephens shared his idea that "the universal belief
that a cave such as the Satunsat, contained infinite
passageway without end."
Continuous archeological interventions took place in the
region between 1986 and 1992. The projects were sponsored by
the Spanish crown, the committee of the fifth centenary of
the discovery of America, and the State of
In 1996, efforts were dedicated to find a singular
significance of the city's history by looking at local
building structures. A palm made mat, or “Pop” in Mayan
language (a sign of power and authority), was found painted
in the floor of one of the oldest buildings, and in another
a grave that was exhumed, and among the burial objects, they
found a very fine mask of jade.
Unique to the archeological sites of the Yucatán a building
was discovered that had calendar inscriptions that date back
to the year 487 AC. In the Satunsat, beyond the intricate
passage ways and levels, the archeologists have found a
mortuary chamber with the remains of the great lord of
This archeological site is located at five Km. southeast of
Maxcanú village. Its architecture belongs to the "Early Puuc"
style. It lists four architectural groups:
Make stand out the
following buildings: The Chi'Ich palace, which belongs the
Puuc period; this could be deduced for the characteristic
type of dome and the ornamentation of mosaic stone that
upgrade the west facade. The Devils Palace, called this way
by people of the area due to a found character sculpted in a
monolithic column; it's a small building of three rooms.
The men of
stone of Oxkintok are located in the eastern side of the
Canul group. These figures are fat beings dressed in
decorated garments with intertwined robes, mesh vests and
zoomorphic chest armor. Despite of the indiscriminate
looting that has taken place, the figures have not lost
their appeal as an important public monument.
THE MAY GROUP:
Stands out the structure
May-6, which is a small palace type building. Its main
characteristic is the external ornamentation in the small
pillars and stone drums in ring form.
The May group
is the best restored group of structures in the site. The
pyramid is another labyrinth with painted and decorated
walls that were the foundation for construction in ancient
The called structure
labyrinth or "satunsat" is a remarkable sample of the
variety of the Mayan architecture; this building produces a
very pleasant visual impression.
The less known and less
restored of all.
Another important find came during the restoration of the
Ball Court. A huge, but fragmented ring with a hieroglyphic
inscription was discovered. Near the Ball Court, a circular
hole has been unearthed, and experts believe that it is an
ancient steam bath used for the purification and cleansing
of the ball game players and pregnant women.
Oxkintok is one of the most important centers in the history
of the Maya of the region and it offers key insight into the
historical development of the peninsula. It opens a door to
Xibalbá, and the greatness that can entice visitors to want
to know more about the way of life of the ancient Maya of
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