Mexico, Mexico Mesoamerican pyramids in Mexico Mini Guide by Irena Chloé

Mesoamerican pyramids or ceremonial structures, as some are, are to be found across Mexico. There are hundreds of these done in many different styles and they were made by several pre-Columbian cultures including the Olmecs, Maya, Toltecs, and Aztecs. Constructed by city states, the style for each city state is usually different. These are usually made out of stone and mortar but several of the earliest may have even been made out of clay.

source: Triposo

 
Calakmul is a Mayan archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35km from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Mayan lowlands. Expect many small monkeys to join you at the site, as well as some hard to drive on roads - so do head out to the spot early in the morning.

Calakmul

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Chichén Itzá is the largest of the archaeological cities of the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization in the Yucatán Peninsula. Temple of Kukulkan, Sacred Cenote, El Caracol are just a few of the places to explore. Chichen Itza which means “at the mouth of the well of Itza “, is the 2nd most visited archeological site in Mexico today. As there is so much to see, head early to the complex, and remember a sun hat as the shade is very sparse.

Chichen Itza

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Cholula was an important city in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, dating back to at least the 2nd century BC, with a villlage settlement dating back at least some thousand years earlier. The great site of Cholula stands just west of the modern city of Puebla and served as a trading outpost. Its immense pyramid is the largest such structure in the Americas, and the largest pyramid structure by volume in the world. Today covered by earth, only a little piece of the past is visible.

Cholula

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source: Triposo

 
Bonampak is an ancient Mayan archaeological site in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The site is approximately 30km south of the larger site of Yaxchilan, under which Bonampak was a dependency. While the site is not overly impressive in terms of spatial or architectural size, it is well known for a number of murals, most especially those located within Structure 1 . The construction of the site’s structures dates to the Early Classic period (c. AD 580 to 800). In addition to being amongst the most well-preserved Mayan murals, the Bonampak murals are noteworthy for debunking early assumptions that the Maya were a peaceful culture of mystics, as the murals clearly depict war and human sacrifice.

Bonampak

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Coba was an important site in the Post-Classic era and new temples were built and old ones kept in repair until at least the 14th century.

Coba

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source: Triposo

 
Comalcalco is an ancient Mayan archaeological site in the State of Tabasco, Mexico, near the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It is the only major Manya city built with bricks rather than limestone masonry and was the westernmost city of the Mayan civilisation. Covering an area of 7km2, Comalcalco was founded in the Late Classic period and may have been a satellite or colony of Palenque based on the architectural similarities between the two. The city was a center of the Chontal Mayan people.

Comalcalco

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source: Triposo

 
La Venta is a pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization located in the present-day Mexican state of Tabasco. Some of the artifacts have been moved to the museum "Parque - Museo de La Venta", which is in nearby Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco.

La Venta

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Palenque is a medium-sized archaeological site, much smaller than Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest sculpture, architecture, roof combs, and bas-relief carvings in the area. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle, which is made up of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has since been extracted and become a popular location to visit.

Palenque

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source: Triposo

 
Acatitlan is an archeological zone of the early Aztec (or Epi-toltec) culture located in the town of Santa Cecilia about 10 km northwest of Mexico City. In pre-Hispanic times it was located on the northwest shore of the great Lake Texcoco.

Santa Cecilia Acatitlan

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source: Triposo

 
Tenayuca is a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the Valley of Mexico. In the Postclassic period of Mesoamerican chronology Tenayuca was a settlement on the former shoreline of the western arm of Lake Texcoco, located approximately 10km to the northwest of Tenochtitlan (the heart of present-day Mexico City). Tenayuca is considered the earliest capital city of the Chichimecs, nomadic tribes that migrated and settled in the Valley of Mexico, forming their own kingdoms.

Tenayuca

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Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian city in the Americas, reaching a total population of 150,000 at its height. Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, Temple of the Feathered Serpent. The location just outside Mexico City makes it very easy to access.

Teotihuacan

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Uxmal means "built three times" in the Mayan language. As a World Heritage site, it is one of the best restored and maintained ruins in the Yucatan.

Uxmal

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source: Triposo

 
Yaxchilan is an ancient Mayan city located on the bank of the Usumacinta River in what is now the state of Chiapas. In the Late Classic Period Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Mayan states along the course of the Usumacinta, with Piedras Negras as its major rival. Architectural styles in subordinate sites in the Usumacinta region demonstrate clear differences that mark a clear boundary between the two kingdoms.

Yaxchilan

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