Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar

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Ek Balam, which means black jaguar, was a city of the ancient Mayas during the Late Classic period (600-900 AD). When the Mayas abandoned the site, it went under cover, literally, as the dense low-lying jungle of the Yucatan engulfed it. As with all of the Mayan pyramids, these were discovered in late 1980's when archaeologists and adventurers saw a group of hills with trees and brush growing out of them. Digging in the mounds, they uncovered treasures of buildings and artifacts hidden for hundreds of years. 


<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
  photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC
The acropolis pyramid called “El Torre” (The Tower) located in the Central Plaza is 100 feet high. There are 106 steps to reach the peak and numerous stucco art sculptures to see along the way up. Near the top of the temple is the tomb of Ukit Kan Le’k Tok’ who was once the ruler here. His tomb is protected by the mouth of a jaguar complete with teeth. 

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
  photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

Key Facts

  • The ancient ruins of Ek Balam are situated 51 kilometers of Northeast Chichen Itza
  • Archeologists have only been able to excavate the middle of Ek Balam
  • Ek Balam covered an area of 12 sq. km, however, you can only view 1 square kilometer
  • Archeologists have been able to map 45 structures in Ek Balam
  • The infrastructure of the city were designed utilizing the Petén architectural principles and designs, which is based on large pyramids and roof combs on buildings
  • Ek Balam consists of numerous temples, two huge palaces and the famous (El Torre) a pyramid, which is situated in the middle of the city
<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC
Archaeologists are fascinated with height of the walls, which they state aren’t high enough to provide any sort of protection whatsoever. They arrived at the conclusion that the walls were made for ceremonial purposes around the ‘Central Plaza’, spanning towards the South Plaza. The exact nature of the ceremonies has not yet been identified. Another interesting thing you will get to see on your tour to Ek Balam and the El Torre is the famous ball court within the city where the Mayan people engaged in playing some sort of game with a ball as a ceremonial feature.


<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

<img src  Ek Balam, Maya City of the Black Jaguar.jpg" lt=" http://dailytravelexperience.blogspot.rs/" />
 photo Tatjana Dimitrijevic OC

The black jaguar or ‘Sun Jaguar’ is a very powerful symbol of the ancient Mayan civilization. At the initiation of the Mayan Long Count, which was thousands of years ago before even before Chichen Itza was a major city; the Black Jaguar became one of the most important symbols in the Mayan culture. Warriors, emperors and priests alike, thoroughly studied the jaguar, not just because it was, at the time, America’s biggest predator, but because of a number of other attributes the big cat exhibited. They studied the cat’s distinctive features and day and night habits. It was believed by the Mayans that the great black jaguar was a part of the myth behind creation and that noblest of the bloodlines and kings in the Mayan civilization were all descendents of the Black Jaguar. And so the incredible cat became Maya’s most significant emblems, illustrating not only Mayan culture, but the entire Mesoamerica.
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