Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Ruins of Cancun

Entryway to the museum

When we think of Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun does not spring to mind. But Cancun's Hotel Zone boasts a small, but impressive archaelological site called San Miguelito, which now includes a beautiful new 4400 square-foot museum. The well-lit exhibitions halls are three-stories above ground level to prevent damage from storms and flooding.

Nancy by the steps of The Palace

The  Cancun Maya Museum displays artifacts from the immediate area, as well as from larger sites in the Yucatan, such as Chichen Itza and Tulum. It contains a wide ranging sample of Mayan art, architecture, and jewelry. Nancy and I were particularly impressed with the beautiful ceramics.

 The skeleton of "The Woman of the Palms," dated from 10,000 years ago, is on display. Her remains along with tools were discovered in a cenote (underground cave with water) in 2002. A holographic representation of the ancient woman shows her curing an animal skin while her mate makes a spear.

 Nearby are the ruins of El Rey that are larger and a worth a visit, too. Nancy and I explored them a couple of years ago. The Cancun Maya Museum, though, is a must see for anyone interested in the history and culture of an amazing civilization.

Nancy and Becky outside the museum

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