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Free images of Mexico - Kohunlich - Maya Ruins

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A two hour bus ride at 5 am leaving from Costa Maya, brought me to the Mayan archaeological site of Kohunlich, in Southern Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.  Despite the day turning quickly to a hot 104 degrees F with 90% humidity, the morning was lovely.  There was fresh dew on the grassy plazas around the site, and the birds just awakening, were singing in the trees.  I was told that not many tourists venture this far into the jungle, and I was pleased that our group was the only one at the site during our visit.  The site has a park-like feel with plenty of trees for shade.

 

Welcome sign at gate of Kohunlich Archeological Zone in Mexico

The name of the site is not original Mayan, but comes from the English “Cohoon Ridge” after the Cohoon fruiting palm which grows abundantly in the area.  Alternate spellings which I have seen include Choone, Cohun, Cohune and Corozo. 

 

Cohoon Fruiting Palm Tree

Kohunlich, Mexico - 3 The Cohoon Fruiting Palm after which the area was named.

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Cohoon Fruiting Palm Tree

Kohunlich, Mexico - 2 The Cohoon Fruiting Palm after which the area was named.

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Fruit of the Cohoon Palm

Kohunlich, Mexico - 4 The Cohoon Fruiting Palm after which the area was named.

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Fallen fruit of the Cohoon Palm Tree

Kohunlich, Mexico - 58 The Cohoon Fruit is extremely hard.  
Several unsuccessful attempts were made by those touring with me to smash the nuts.
Apparently the only way to get at the fruit is to saw the nuts open. 

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The Kohunlich archeological site is approx. 21 acres, containing about 200 mounds, and is surrounded by a tropical rainforest.  Be sure to bring plenty of mosquito repellent and watch your step.  The walkways and surfaces are covered with slippery algae and mosses.

The following information comes from the plaques posted at the site and my very knowledgeable tour guide:

 

 

 

Kohunlich is made up of pyramids, courtyards and plazas that were residential, administrative and religious in nature.  There are also worker and peasant quarters for those who supplied the food and manufactured various shell and flint artifacts. Kohunlich is estimated to have been first settled in 200 BC.  It was at its splendour around 500 to 900 AD and thought to have been abandoned around 1000 AD. Only 11% of the city has been excavated! Kohunlich city was a regional center and stop along trade routes.  Because of the elaborate architecture, it is assumed that the families who lived here were of importance with high status. 

The architecture at Kohunlich resembles the Rio Bec style to the south of Campeche and the Peten style to the north of Guatemala and Belize.  It is for this reason that it is believed that Kohunlich had close ties and was of importance to other areas of Mayan culture.  During its grandeur, the site would have looked very different than it is today.  All of the stones used to build the structures would have been stuccoed and painted.  The predominant colour favoured by the Mayans was red.  Some structures were also decorated with stuccoed figures and geometric designs.

Kohunlich has many unexcavated mounds.  Most of the structures are covered by dense vegetation.

 

Residential compound Mayan ruins at Kohunlich Mexico

Kohunlich, Mexico - 7 The Northwest Residential Compound ("A" on map)

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Residential compound Mayan ruins at Kohunlich Mexico

Kohunlich, Mexico - 8 The Northwest Residential Compound ("A" on map)

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Residential compound Mayan ruins at Kohunlich Mexico

Kohunlich, Mexico - 12 The Northwest Residential Compound ("A" on map)

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Vegetation growing on Residential compound Mayan ruins at Kohunlich Mexico

Kohunlich, Mexico - 34 The Northwest Residential Compound ("A" on map)

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Residential compound Mayan ruins at Kohunlich Mexico

Kohunlich, Mexico - 35 The Northwest Residential Compound ("A" on map)

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Kohunlich Mexico Image Pages    [1]    [2]    [3]    [4]    [5]    [6]

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