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Mayapán: The Pyramid of Cuculcán

Mayapán was the dominant Mayan political and ceremonial center of western Yucatan after the 13th century fall of Chichén Itzá, and home to the Xiu and Cocom dynasties until their rift in AD 1450. At the heart of the ceremonial center is the large four-sided mound called the Pyramid of Cuculcán, a Late Postclassic imitation of the Castillo at Chichén Itzá. Cuculcán was the mythical Toltec leader who, as Landa reports, founded both of these centers.

Reached by stairways on all four sides, the main temple at Mayapán overlooks numerous other temples and colonnaded rectangular masonry dwellings on lower mounds in the site, totalling about 120 buildings.

[Fig.1: Catherwood's drawing of the principal mound at Mayapán (Stephens 1843).]


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