We read about a ruin just a few blocks off the main square in Izamal and so headed over there about 5 pm. At the end of a simple street was a massive stone structure with what looked like a forest on top. A sign read “Knich Kak Moo.”
The guys quickly headed up the stone steps. The stones were the biggest I’ve seen yet in the region. The Mayans must have had some kind of mechanical advantage. I can’t imagine 20 people being able to lift one of these stones.
Megan and I headed around the back another few blocks. The site is absolutely massive. It is one pyramid that sits on four city blocks. We climbed up the back side to the forest. Once there we were amazed to discover the forest was actually trees on the back side of another pyramid that sat on the top of this one!
The upper pyramid had a large courtyard where it was evident that local youths spent many Friday nights. We could clearly see the monastery from here — which would have been another building.
At Ek Balam we spoke to a man who said estimates that 20,000 people lived in these cities must be wildly inaccurate. Walking around the top of this site and imaging all the rocks below me, it had to be that many just to build this.
The site is actually built on a limestone quarry so the stones needed only to be cut and hauled up.
I’m very excited to do Ruta Puuc tomorrow and see even more Mayan sites.