The Mayan city, probably founded to 564, lies on a rocky point, overlooking turquoise waters, closed by the second largest coral reef in the world ; it is the only Mayan city built in the sea. Initially named Zama (the “dawn”, the “place where the sun rises”), it is gradually occupied by the Poutouns, a nation of traders and sailors. Later, the presence and influence of Toltecs reached the Caribbean coast and the city; some constructions Tulum evidenced through specific to this new culture characteristics, as sculptures, murals and stucco moldings, including adopting the cult of Quetzalcoatl, represented frequently on the site in its morning exercise, Venus, feet headed skyward.
The high of the wall of Tulum is 3 to 5 m, which has five small doors, and draws a rectangle of about 380 m long and 165 m wide. Priests and dignitaries remained in the central place while the rest of the population living outside, in wooden houses. The Temple of the Frescoes (dos Frescos) shows a sculpture stucco Descending God ; the angles of the roof are the form of masks Itzamná, the creator god of knowledge. The Castillo, temple dedicated to Venus, the morning star, remodeled several times, has a grand staircase leading to a temple supported by serpentine columns, which relates directly to architecture Chichen Itza. The Descending God or God Bee, is also present in a niche occupying the top of this building. North side, the Temple of the Descending God retains the finest example of “Descending God” in a alcove formed in the roof. The Temple of the Wind God, dedicated to Kukulcan in his role as God of Wind (Ehécatl-Quetzalcoatl, god Nahuatl), is a building with a square base built on a natural slope of the field.
With the arrival of the Spanish, the city still had some significance. Juan Diaz, columnist, who first visited this coast in 1518 wrote: “(…) The next day, at sunset, we saw so large that Seville could not seem more significant or better, we saw a big tower (pyramid) city or town …” . The real decline of Tulum starts with Spanish colonization, waves of epidemics, and the run away of the survivors inland. On the map of Juan de Dios Gonzalez, designed in 1766, the location of Tulum did not figure as a reference, and just after, the city disappeared …
Where is it?
Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico