Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sacbé Xahxche

Today my dad and I made our way to pick up Abel in Santa Elena and take a hike out to the archaeological site known as Sacbé Xahxche, though it is usually refereed to simply as Sacbé. The site is located on an ejido about 10 kilometres from Santa Elena  and is accessible through a road which communicates several different fields (unidades agricolas). There are absolutely no signs to let you know when you have arrived to the correct ejido, and much less any indicators to let you know where the site is to be found within the surrounding jungle, so a guide is an absolute necessity. Though there are about a dozen structures which you can explore at the site the most impresive is known simply as Structure 1, Group A... though Abel informed me that it is also known as "Casa de los mascarones" (house of the masks). This name obviously refers to the two stacked mosaic style Chaac rain god masks which adorn the western portico.  Aside from the masks there are several typical Puuc esthetic are geometric features such as stones which form a stepped-fret design, horizontal rows of X-shaped adornments and short columnlike squarred spirals. Structure 2 which is located to the south-east is partialy standing and is characteristic of an early Puuc-style (670-770 A.D.) This sturcture faces south and is suported by lintels, though only the center one is intact. However, the other lintels are still observable in the rubble of the building. Towards the south west, structures 3 and 4 are mostly entirely fallen.  The site also has at least two chultunes (artificial water storage wells)... the one to the side of structure 1 is particularly noteworthy for its state of preservation. As I mentioned there are several other structures including a rather large pyramid, however it seems that do to looting it has been left fairly bared. In any case, if you are looking for an adventure and visiting an archaeological site which has been largely untouched but is fairly accessible, maybe an a visit to Sacbé is in order. Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos!