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    UxmalUxmal Merida, Mexico
    One of the most favorite Mayan ruins in Mexico are located at Uxmal, a big pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization south of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, although many of the buildings and structures located there have a Spanish name that doesn't tell you what the building might have been used for, like the term "Uxmal", which is thought to be an archaic term in the Mayan language that some "assume" means "built three times". This site contains some of the finest and most complex examples of the regional Puuc-style of architecture, with outstanding pyramids and beautiful structures that have made it one of the best ruins to visit. There has been extensive works completed on the buildings, although not too much significant archaeological digs or research have been accomplished, so that the ruins' dates of occupation and other information is not known. They do believe that the majority of the construction occurred when Uxmal was the capital of a late classic Mayan state from 850 to 925 AD, but then, after 1000 AD, Toltec invaders would conquer it and the majority of its construction would cease by 1100 AD. Mayan chronicles state that the city would be founded in 500 AD by Hun Uitzil Chac Tutul Xiu. That family, the Xiu, would rule the city for many generations, and become one of the most powerful cities in the region. The Xiu would eventually move their capital to Mani, after losing a significant alliance with the Chichen Itza, which began the decline of the city and its population.

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    Anthropology and History MuseumAnthropology and History Museum Merida, Mexico
    This excellent museum is located inside a completely restored mansion that houses a marvelous exhibit of the Mayan history and anthropology, hosting traveling exhibits often, with a great gift shop and book store. The museum occupies an outstanding 19th century structure with a wonderful collection of materials gathered from the halcyon days of the Maya civilization, along with other advanced cultures of pre-Columbian Mexico being showcased as well. The main features of the museum are the sacrificial gifts that were discovered at Chichen Itza, along with reproduced sketches of the Mayan sites by Frederick Catherwood and photographs by Teobert Maler from the turn of the century. This museum contains one of the finest collections of pre-Columbian Mayan culture that was located on the Yucatan peninsula, with an excellent background available of the sites that were visited and where many relics would be discovered. These documents depict the every day lives of the Mayans, that includes commerce, architecture, customs, production, funeral offerings, war, writing and calendars and rituals.  The museum's location, in a palace constructed at the turn of the 20th century, and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, and had been known as the Canton Palace.  The image to the right is of Chacmool, a Mayan god that had sacrifices performed and offered to gain his attention and good feelings.

May 11, 2011