Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tulum Ruins - Walled City Built by the Mayan

The Mayan city of Tulum is 130 km south and 700 years away of Cancun. Cancun has a string of huge resort hotels which did not exist before 1974 while Tulum was built late in the thirteenth century which is known as the Mayan post classic period. This site is one of the few walled cities built by the Maya and the walls are located on only three sides of the settlements while the eastern borders are protected by the ocean and situated on 12 meter cliffs along the Caribbean with an estimated population of 1,000 to 1,600 inhabitants. The walls surrounding the settlement is three to five meter in height, eight meters thick and 400 meters long on the western wall along the sea. It was a major crossroad of trade from both land and sea trade from Central and South America to Yucatan. It is one of the most frequently visited sites in Yucatan Peninsula with thousands of tourists every day.

Well Preserved Site with Beautiful Beaches
This site stands apart from other ruins in Mexico with its well preserved, beautiful inviting beaches and for its greatest attractions of the location of the ruins. A day trip is a perfect choice to visit Tulum ruins for those who tend to tire of idly lounging around the pool and which are built on a bluff facing the rising sun and is the only Maya settlement near the beaches of the Caribbean. Tulum in the Yucatec language means `wall’, relating to the large barricade surrounding the settlement and according to the Mayan language, Tulum was called Zama which means dawn, which seems to be an appropriate name considering its eastern location. The name Tulum has been given to the site by explorers Stephens and Catherwood in the year 1841 when they had visited that place at the beginning of the Caste War in 1841 and after the city was abandoned.

Extensive Trade Network for Maritime and Land Routes
Tulum it was believed, to be the primary location for the Maya’s extensive trade network of both maritime and land routes which met here. Archeologist found artifacts in and around the site confirming that they had contact with Central Mexico and Central America. Copper rattles and rings were found from the Mexican highlands, flint and ceramics from the Yucatan and jade from Guatemala by the archeologists. It was also an international hub for trade and was responsible in the distribution of goods to Yucatan via Coba, Chichen Itza and connecting settlements. Besides, this it was also considered as an appropriate religious center for priest with the walls protecting the sacred leaders. According to archaeologists, who have evidence; believe that the population was killed by the Spaniards who introduced Old World diseases in that area by way of destroying the native population and Tulum remained inhabited about seventy years after the conquest till it was finally deserted. When tourists visit this ancient site, they see the building which in its time was the city’s main center where all their political activities and ceremonial took place, with thatched wooden houses around the wall which could have been homes to workers though there is not much evidence of residential homes.

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