Nearby Sites
Home Up Geology and ecology Prior research Mason-Spinden Peissel Recent research Nearby Sites Regional Picture



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