Yaxchilan


Yaxchilan

Yaxchilan (also sometimes historically referred to by the names Menché and City Lorillard) is an ancient Maya city located on the Usumacinta River in what is now the state of Chiapas, Mexico.

The ancient name for the city was probably Pa' Chan. Yaxchilan means "green stones" in Maya.

Ancient Yaxchilan

II, who died in his 90s in 742.Fact|date=August 2007

Yaxchilan is known for the large quantity of excellent sculpture at the site, such as the monolithic carved stelas and the narrative stone reliefs carved on lintels spanning the temple doorways. [cite book
first=Simon Martin
last= Nikolai Grube &
year=2000
title= Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens
edition=
publisher=Thames & Hudson Ltd.
location=London
pages= pp 117, 125
id= ISBN 0-500-05103-8
]

Rediscovery and modern history

The first published mention of the site seems to have been a brief mention by Juan Galindo in 1833. Professor Edwin Rockstoh of the National College of Guatemala visited in 1881 and published another short account. Explorers Alfred Maudslay and Désiré Charnay arrived here within days of each other in 1882, and they published more detailed accounts of the ruins with drawings and photographs. Charnay dubbed the ruins "City Lorillard" in honor of Pierre Lorillard who contributed to defray the expense of his expedition into the Maya zone. Teoberto Maler visited the site repeatedly from 1897 to 1900 and published a detailed two volume description of Yaxchilan and nearby sites in 1903.

In 1931 Sylvanus Morley led a Carnegie Institution expedition to Yaxchilan, mapped the site and discovered more monuments.

The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducted archeological research at Yaxchilan in 1972 - 1973, again in 1983, and further INAH work was conducted in the early 1990s.

Since 1990, the project La pintura mural prehispánica en México (The mural prehispanic painting in Mexico) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, examines and records the precolumbian murals, like those in Yaxchilán.

Yaxchilan has long been difficult to reach other than by river. Until recently, no roads existed within 100 miles. The only ways to get to the site were hundreds of miles by boat, or else by small plane. Since the construction of the Border Highway by the Mexican Government in the early 1990s, it is possible for tourists to visit. To reach the site, it is necessary now only to take an hour long boat ride down the Usumacinta River from Frontera Corozal.


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See also

*Maya Bridge at Yaxchilan

Notes

References

* [http://www.pinturamural.esteticas.unam.mx/libros.html De la Fuente, Beatriz: La pintura mural prehispánica en México: Area Maya, Estudios 2001, IIEs, UNAM.]
* Martin, Simon (2004) "A broken sky: the ancient name of Yaxchilan as Pa' Chan" "The PARI Journal" 5(1):1-7.
* Tate, Carolyn E. (1992) "Yaxchilan, The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City". University of Texas Press, Austin. ISBN 0-292-77041-3


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