Ruins > Oxtankah (Close to Chetumal)


Oxtankah, located 10 minutes from Chetumal in the seaside town of Calderitas (pronounced osh-tahn-kah) is the name given in 1937 by the archaeologist Alberto Escalona. It received this name from the great amount of Ramon trees (ox in Mayan) that surround the site - the original name of the establishment is not known. Oxtankah is connected to a pre-Hispanic establishment located north of the city of Chetumal. This older site was believed to be a coastal trade center that flourished between 200 and 600 BC. Maya groups re-inhabited the city during the 15th and 16th century using stone from the dilapidated old buildings to build houses, walls and small temples. Some investigators think the city corresponds to the old Chactemal and is the scene of the first documented mestization.

Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry fee: 42 pesos

The beauty and park-like atmospher of the forest of Ramons and its proximity to the Caribbean Sea turn a route not only interesting from an archaeological perspective, but also an environmental and ecological one. In the city of Chetumal certified guides can be found who offer their services. Oxtanka

Oxtankah is located 16 kilometers to the north of Chetumal, State Capital of Quintana Roo. In order to arrive at the site, take the Chetumal-Calderitas route (Avenida Heroes) North from town. Continue on a paved road that borders the bay; 4.5 kilometers to the north is the sign that marks the access the archaeological zone. It is well marked.

Oxtankah seems to have been established during the Classic period (200-600 AD), when the Mayans constructed most important buildings of the city, including temples, sunken palaces, seats, patios and isolated constructions. In order to supply itself with fresh water, the inhabitants of the site constructed chultunes and wells to catch rainwater. The architectural style of the buildings ties to other sites within the PetÚn region, in Guatemala. The size and the importance of Oxtankah have not always been equal, since some portions were abandoned after 600 AD, and later occupied again. Many structures were remodeled by means of extensions to platforms and the construction of new palaces, administrative temples and building on the already existing ones. With the arrival of the Spaniards, the city was occupied by manifold and modest residential units, as well as by innumerable horse armor of residential boundary (earthworks). After the first Spanish incursions into the area, the chapel was built that is in the North end of the site, which constitutes the most delayed testimony of the constructive history of Oxtankah.

16-May-2012 Updated

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