A mere 40 minutes away from our Hotels in Chichén Itzá, Ek Balam was at one time rich and very important. The city lost its power around 1,000 A.D. but remained inhabited long after.
Desire Charnay carried out the first excavations in 1886 but it was not until 1987 when most of the serious work began. Only a couple of buildings remain buried, waiting for their secrets to be revealed.
To the Maya, the enormous mouth of the Witz Monster represents a portal to the “other world”, complete with teeth, it is awe-inspiring. This structure is known as Ek Balam’s most striking temple. Evidence has been found that bloodletting rituals were practiced here, these rituals were self-inflicted by the priest and nobles.
Some suggest that one of the human figures depicted above the mouth is in the posture of a defeated enemy about to be sacrificed, so it may also be a site of human sacrifice but to what extent they are not sure yet.
The main temple here is impressive, both in size and architecture. Its massive size of over 500 feet long and 200 feet wide easily makes it one of the largest structures ever excavated in the Yucatan. It is so big that one wonders how this could have been built without the aid of iron or the wheel.