A First Look at the Mayan City of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico

The second Mayan archeological site I visited in Quintana Roo, Mexico was the coastal city of Tulum.  The city was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries.  Tulum was unusual in that it was a walled city with the walls serving both for defense and to separate the sacred part of the city from the ordinary citizens.  The descriptive plaque describing the walls states:

Muralla

Tulum is surrounded by a huge stone wall.  Its height is irregular since it follows the contours of the land and it is rectangular shaped with only three sides; that which faces the sea was naturally protected.  Without a doubt, the wall had a defensive purpose although it also served to establish the limits of the “sacred” area.  It has five doorways or entrances:  one facing west, two to the north and two more to the south.  From the inside, one can climb the wall by using the stairs specially built for this purpose.

One enters Tulum through one of several gates through the wall.  Inside the gates, the structures are numbered for archeological purposes.  Structures 20 and 34 are similar, except for the degree of disrepair.

Entrance Sign to Tulum

Entrance Sign to Tulum

SOURCE:  Entrance Sign to Tulum (Tulum, Quintana Roo, México); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 03 February 2012.

Wall and Gateway to TulumWall and Gateway to Tulum

SOURCE:  Wall and Gateway to Tulum (Tulum, Quintana Roo, México); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 03 February 2012.

Structure 34 in TulumStructure 20 in Tulum

SOURCE:  Structure 20 in Tulum (Tulum, Quintana Roo, México); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 03 February 2012.

Structure 34 in TulumStructure 34 in Tulum

SOURCE:  Structure 34 in Tulum (Tulum, Quintana Roo, México); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 03 February 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by Stephen J. Danko

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