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Uxmal

Uxmal (ōshmälˈ, ōz–) [key], ancient city, northern Yucatán peninsula, Mexico. A Late Classic period Maya center situated in the Puuc hills, Uxmal flourished between 600 and 900. It is one of the finest expressions of Maya architecture known as the Puuc style. The site has such impressive structures as the unique Pyramid of the Magician; the Nunnery, with elaborately decorated facades of stone mosaic friezes; and the Governor's Palace (320 ft/98 m long, 40 ft/12.2 m wide, and 26 ft/8.9 m high), with some 20,000 carved stone elements in its facade. The site was abandoned shortly after 950 but was reoccupied briefly in the 15th cent. by the Xiu, a Mexican group who soon abandoned the site after wresting power from the Cocom Itzá at Mayapán.

See studies in the Handbook of Middle American Indians, ed. by R. Wauchope (13 vol., 1964–73); M. P. Weaver, The Aztecs, Maya, and Their Predecessors (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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