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Becan archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Becan Archaeological site is located 16 km east of Chicanna in the State of Campeche by the Federal Highway 186 in Mexico.

In Mayan language Becan means "The Road of the Serpent". Becan archaeological site was built from carved limestone.

Rio Bec Architecture: The Rio Bec architectural style combines those known as Peten and Chenes. It is characterized by its use of well cut stone blocks, covered afterwards with a smooth layer of stucco; the corners are rounded; the interior benches are wide; high towers and false temples are embedded in the principal buildings; the vaults are made with projecting stone slabs - the beginning of the false arch. The most common decorative motifs are the cross-shaped elements and the masks of Itzmna, also called the Earth Monster.

To enter Becan, the Maya built various entrances seven of which are through tombs where you can see:

  • Becan archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Ornamental towers
  • Structure X This structure contains 12 rooms distributed over two levels. A temple was erected one the upper part, whose facade was decorated with representations of Itzamna, the creator god, known also as the Earth Monster. The symbolic content of the group is complimented with the roof comb or flying facade, on which stucco figures were modeled; of these only a part of an openwork wall remains. Structure X in Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico
  • Decorated facades
  • The Juego de Pelota (the ball game)
  • Four steles
  • Passageway This passageway served as a street in the ancient city of Becan. Its almost 66 mts. of length was covered with a false arch, and in some sections, it contained niches for depositing offerings. One of these, which is especially interesting, shows a limestone outcropping which could be interpreted as a link between the underworld and man's creations. Passageway in Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Passageway in Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Passageway in Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico

Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico In your visit to Becan Archaeological site, please take note: For the purpose of contributing to, the conservation of the archaeological zone and its environment, as well as for your own safety, it is recommended:

  • Not to leave the designated paths as one could get lost.
  • Not to climb the mounds and roofs of the buildings in order to avoid their collapsing.
  • Not to collect, stones, pieces of ceramic and plants.
  • Not to collect, stones, pieces of ceramic and plants.
  • Not to enter the inside of the monuments. Their magnificence and splendor can be appreciated from the plazas.
  • You are entering an exceptional historic area. Take care of it! It is yours.

Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Becan Archaeological site represented an important political and military control place, and is the only one that was walled.

The name Becan, which in Yucatec Maya means trench, is precisely named for one, which protects the most important buildings. This trench, 5 mts. deep, 16 mts, wide and with an interior parapet, has a perimeter of almost two kilometers and encompasses 12 hectares. The access to the zone is restricted to seven entrances, each with its own bridge.

This construction, which is a basic element in the east-west orientation of the city of Becan, reaches monumental proportions. This characteristic is emphasized by the two large towers on the north and south sides, which frame a grand facade. Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico

Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico The entrance to the principal facade is formed by thick and tall columns covered with well cut and assembled stone blocks. At the center of the principal entrance is a stela, which should commemorate a relevant official event of the ruler of the site. Various of the rooms constructed on the east side were used as living quarters, and it is believed that the rooms in the interior of the group, which are up to 8 mts. high and windowless, could have been used as storerooms or for religious ceremonies such as self-sacrifice, prayers or fasting.

Structure X rises up to the west and on the same central axle. From the center of the upper part of Structure VIII, one can see the principal building of Xpuhil to the east. Presently, one can visit 20 major constructions associated with plazas and patios, distributed over three hectares. Outside the protected area, however, numerous platforms, foundations and remains of simple houses belonging to the ancient population have been recorded.

Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico Becan was the political, economic and religious capital of the province know today as Rio Bec, to which the sites of Xpuhil Chicanna, Puerto Rico, Okolhuitz, Channa and Ramonal belong. It is strategically located at the based of Yucatan Peninsula, on the route which unites the river and lagoon zone of southwestern Campeche with the territories of Chetumal Bay.

The sites in the Peten Region are found to the south of Becan and to the north, the Chenes (wells) settlements in north eastern Campeche, with whom it also maintained relations. The earliest archeological evidence from Becan dates from 550 B.C., period in which the Olmec culture was declining at sites such as La Venta in Tabasco.

The apogee at Becan, reflected in the construction peak and the population density, took place between 600 and 800 A.D. At this time, Cholula recovered importance, while Tajin reached its splendor. Becan was abandoned around 1200 A.D. when Tula and Mittla were in their period of florescence.

Becan Archaeological site in Campeche, Mexico

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