Founded around 400 B.C, Edzná “House of the Itzás” comes from the Itzá, a lineage of Chontal origin. The Itzá were Mayan that extended from various groups of native Putun and Chontal Indians in south-eastern Campeche. In its golden age, it was home to 25,000 inhabitants. The city had numerous religious, administrative, and residential buildings, which were built in the three architectural Mayan styles of the area: Puuc, Petén, and Chenes. Edzna dates back to the Late Pre-Classic period (300 B.C. to A.D. 300), but the city only reached its peak at the Terminal Classic period of ancient Maya civilization. Edzna grew to some 25,000 inhabitants, five hundred years later, the great city of Edzna was abandoned. In the main square you can see the great acropolis and a grand vista of the whole ceremonial centre. The Edificio de los Cinco Pisos – the temple of the five stories, was positioned to allow the sun into the chambers and rooms at dusk. On the South side of the Grand Acropolis you see the House of the Moon. On the West side of the Acropolis, you see the Puuc-style Plataforma de los Cuchillos (Platform of the Knives) which was named after finding a number of flint knives during excavation. In the Puuc patio you will find a frame showing the rain god Chaac and glyphs of celestial beings, and in the middle a Temazcal, a purification and healing steam bath. The temple of the masks – templo de los mascarones –  has two very distinct carvings depicting the sun god along with a half-human/half-jaguar creature. Kinich Ahau is the Yucatec and Lacandon name of the sun god, he was considered an aspect of the upper god, Itzamna. The Sun was very important to the ancient Maya, one of the most powerful Gods of the Maya pantheon. Kinich Ahau would shine in the sky all day before transforming himself into a jaguar at night to pass through Xibalba, the Maya underworld. The Maya were expert at predicting solar phenomena, such as eclipses, equinoxes and when the Sun reached its apex. The ancient Maya were keen astronomers. As they believed that the will and actions of the Gods could be read in the stars, moon and planets, they constructed their most important buildings with astronomy in mind. Edzna is a testimony of a great civilization, a mystical and profound place to visit, nestled in the heart of the jungle.

©Chloe Garcia Ponce – All Rights Reserved