Travel Tuesday: Iximche

Here’s today’s Mayan temple, Iximche

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Iximcheʼ (/iʃimˈtʃeʔ/) (or Iximché using Spanish orthography) is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the western highlands of Guatemala. Iximche was the capital of the Late Postclassic Kaqchikel Maya kingdom from 1470 until its abandonment in 1524. The architecture of the site included a number of pyramid-temples, palaces and two Mesoamerican ballcourts. Excavators uncovered the poorly preserved remains of painted murals on some of the buildings and ample evidence of human sacrifice. The ruins of Iximche were declared a Guatemalan National Monument in the 1960s. The site has a small museum displaying a number of pieces found there, including sculptures and ceramics. It is open daily.

A Guatemalan historian first described the ruins of Iximche in the late 17th century. They were visited various times by scholars during the 19th century, who published plans and descriptions. Serious investigations of the site started in the 1940s and continued sporadically until the early 1970s.In 1980, during the Guatemalan Civil War, a meeting took place at the ruins between guerillas and Maya leaders that resulted in the guerillas stating that they would defend indigenous rights. A ritual was carried out at the site in 1989 in order to reestablish the ruins as a sacred place for Maya ceremonies.[18] United States President George W. Bush visited the site in 2007,[19] and in the same year Iximche was the venue for the III Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Abya Yala.

F. M. Laster

“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West

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