Maya // Kabah
We’ve seen Uxmal and Labná, now here is Kabah – my highlight of the smaller sites along the Puuc route. Why? Simple: The Palace of Masks (above). On the front of this magnificent structure (also called Codz Poop) are some 250 masks of the rain deity Chaac, with his signature trunk-like nose and large eyes. This facade with it’s row after row of masked faces is unique among Mayan architecture. It took archaeologists and restoration experts years to put together the pieces to this puzzle as they reclaimed the site from the jungle foliage. You can see rows of stone set in the fields around the palace, awaiting similar restoration.
Coming into the site and seeing the Palace of Masks for the first time is breathtaking. Then you walk around to the back of the structure and find two full human figures prominently up on high. This was the first time I had seen a full representation, in lieu of typical faces and masks. Amazing. The Palace Group is a multi-roomed structure with columns and doorways in various states of repair. Vultures sat upon the masonry as they have for centuries, the sun beating down on this open site. Citrus and other fruit trees soak up what little moisture the ground provides, hence the dedication to the rain deity here on the peninsula.
Stay tuned for more Mayan Archeology from the Yucatán and onwards into Guatemala and Honduras…
Kabah, Yucatán, México, 2008.