Kohunlich

Kohunlich

Kohunlich (X-laabch’e’en in Modern Maya) is a large archeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula about 25 km east of the Rio Bec region, it does not actually derive from Maya but from the English Cohune Ridge.

The site covers about 21 acres, surrounded by dense sub-tropical rainforest and it contains almost 200 mounds that remain largely unexcavated.

The city was elaborately planned and engineered. With raised platforms and pyramids, citadels, courtyards and plazas surrounded with palace platforms, and an all laid out channel drainage into a system of cisterns and an enormous reservoir to collect rainwater.

The site was settled by 200 B.C. but most of the structures were built in the Early Classic period from about 250 to 600 A.D. Many of which are still covered with thick vegetation and overgrown by trees.

The city appears to have functioned as a regional center and stop along the trade routes through the southern Yucatan. From Campeche and the Rio Bec area to the west and the cities along the east coast and to the south, in the el Petén region of Guatemala and neighboring Belize.

The road approaches the site from the north and leads into an enormous central plaza ringed by pyramids and temple platforms. To the north there is a massive, raised, acropolis or citadel, with a palace complex around a courtyard to the northwest.

Further east lays the Pyramid of the Masks, built in honor of the God, with 6 gigantic stucco masks flanking its central staircase. South of the main plaza lays the marvelous, Sunken Plaza Mervin, on the west side of the site and a small ball court further to the east.