The Spaniards who were shipwrecked on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula
in 1511 were soon followed by other explorers and conquerors. Cortés claimed
central Mexico in 1519-1521, and twenty-one years later the peninsula fell under
Spanish control at the hands of Montejo the Younger. Unlike its coastal
neighbors Xelha and Xcaret, Muyil was never the site of a permanent Spanish
colony. By 1579, it was unknown to the writers of the Spanish relaciones.
Muyil faded from view. Its people either fled from the Spanish coastal entrada
or were decimated by the European diseases against which they were defenseless.
Whatever the mix of causes, we have no archaeological evidence that Muyil was
inhabited between the time of the Conquest and the middle of the nineteenth
century. The arrival of the Spanish meant that Muyil, whose prior history
spanned more than eighteen centuries, was abandoned. Muyil was then overtaken by
a jungle growth from which it has only recently reappeared.
© Copyright 2000-2005 Walter R. T. Witschey Page last updated Wednesday, April 02, 2008