Prior research at nearby sites
Muyil is on the boundary between a moderately well-known area (in the
archaeological sense) and an archaeologically unknown area. The area which is
well known includes Coba, an exceptionally large Classic site in the interior of
Quintana Roo, 44 km north of Muyil and 40 km northwest of Tulum. It also
includes numerous smaller coastal sites north of Muyil, beginning with Tulum and
including (moving northward) Tancah, Xelha, Akumal, Xcaret, Playa del Carmen,
the Cozumel Island sites, the Cancun Island sites, and El Meco. There are many
other very small sites with individual temples, such as Chakalal and Ak, and
larger sites not yet investigated in detail, such as Paamul, but those mentioned
have been recently most intensively researched. They offer the richest corpus of
comparative material from nearby sites with possible relationships to Muyil.
Ceramics, architecture, and settlement patterns of the coastal sites all provide
evidence for major population increases in the Late Postclassic.
No single large site dominates the region in the Postclassic in the sense
that Coba dominated the site in the Classic. Most of the coastal sites are Late
Postclassic (for example, all those on Cancun are except the shell midden and
Koxolnah). Others with a longer occupation, such as Tulum/Tancah, still show a
major occupation in the Postclassic. Stelae with long count dates have been
found at Coba and Tulum, but few other inscribed dates in the Maya calendar are
known from the region.
The early explorations of the area consisted of expeditions whose overall
purpose was to visit as many sites as possible. Foremost among these
expeditions are those listed in Appendix 6.
Since the completion of Route 307, the coastal highway (Puerto
Juarez/Cancun to Chetumal) in 1972, access to sites has been much simpler.
Today, single-site research projects are the rule rather than the exception.
Important work at the coastal sites, Peten Corridor sites, and Coba is listed
in Appendix 7, where it is organized by site.
© Copyright 2000-2005 Walter R. T. Witschey Page last updated Wednesday, April 02, 2008