Taylor Explores the World

San Gervasio Archaeological Site Post Classic Period Central Plaza, Cozumel Island, Mexico

San Gervasio Archaeological Site Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) Central Plaza, Cozumel Island, Mexico If you return to the road that the Manitas Plaza is on and continue you will come to the Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) Central Plaza of San Gervasio. In this group there is the Columns structure, the Alamo structure, the Murals structure, the Palace structure, the Ossuary structure, Structure 25 B, the Niches structure, and the Altar structure all surrounding the Central Plaza.

Estructura Las Columnas (or the Columns Structure) has seven columns, a bench running along the interior walls and a throne or altar in the middle of the room. The chambers along the side were used to deposit six burials and their offerings which included obsidian knives, clay incense burners and small stone stelae sculpted with different figures. This structure has two construction phases; the first during the Terminal Classic period (1000-1200 AD) and it was then partially covered by the second construction phase during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD).

Estructura El Alamo (or the Alamo Structure) originally the structure had a vaulted roof, that was like and upside down staircase, only part of it remains today. This Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) structure has an altar inside where offerings were left. The interior, in its glory, was completely covered in stucco and painted with bands, spirals and red colored hand prints.

Estructura Los Murales (or the Murals Structure) was called this because of the fragmented murals found within its walls. This structure and its murals were constructed during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD). The murals were red, blue, ochre and black and were of geometric motifs, stepped lines, Grecian frets and spirals. Inside there is a vaulted roof and altars and benches for ceremonial purposes.

Next to the Murals Structure is Estructura El Palacio (or the Palace Structure). This structure was a large colonnaded hall, which were popular on the east coast during its Post Classic (1200-1650 AD) construction. It has 19 columns, benches lining the interior walls and either thrones or altars. Some of the columns are doubled and the roof was flat not vaulted and made of wooden beams like modern roofs.

Estructura El Osario (or the Ossuary Structure) was named this because numerous human remains were found inside during exploration. The temple itself no longer exists but originally was built of masonry walls and roof during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD). El Osario sits next to Sacbe 4 (or Ancient Road 4) that connects the Central Plaza area, the area the Ossuary is in, with the dwelling group of structures to the south.

Estructura 25 B (or Structure 25 B) was a Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) colonnaded hall with a mason roof. It differed from other colonnade halls because it had three front pillars with square bases and three interior columns with round bases. It also has a built-in bench that is embedded in all the external walls.

Estructura Los Nichos (or the Niches Structure), a Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) structure, was named this because of the miniature shrines built on the sides of the stairway. The upper part of the structure had a stone vaulted roof and the interior was predominately decorated in blue.

Estructura El Altar (or the Altar Structure) sits in the center of the Post Classic period Central Plaza, off from Sacbe 1. It had a ceremonial use and was probably used as a stage for someone to address the community. There are two construction phases; the original, visible on the west side, was completely covered in stucco and dates to the Terminal Classic (1000-1250 AD), the second phase, occurred in during the Post Classic (1200-1650 AD) covers the first.

Leaving the Central Plaza via Sacbe 1 (or road 1) you will reach the Structura El Arco (or the Arch) which lies directly on Sacbe 1 between the Post Classic period Central Plaza and Nohoch Nah. During the Post Classic period (1200-1650 AD) this arch was an entrance or exit to the central part of San Gervasio. This led to the coastal sites on Sacbe 1, which runs beneath the Arch and is seen in the photos. According to INAH the pilgrims and traders would reach the famous sanctuary of the Goddess Ixchel and deposit an offering at the altar that lies in the middle of th e vaulted passageway, the style was common on the east coast.

Structura Nohoch Nah, or the Big House Structure, lies along Sacbe 1. It had an altar in the middle were offerings were placed. The entire structure was covered with stucco and heavily painted with red, ochre and blue colors. It had two construction periods; originally, during the Terminal Classic period (1000-1200 AD), it was a small platform and in the Post Classic period it was completely covered by the building we see today.

Finally, there is the Post Classic (1200-1650 AD) constructed Estructura Kana Nah (or the Tall House Structure) the largest structure in San Gervasio. This is located a distance from all the Central Plazas. It does not have any inner space since its interior altar and benches occupy the entire space. The whole temple was stucco and painted red, ochre, blue, green and black. The base and the stairway are decorated with human faces sculpted in the stone. Due to these features it is thought to have been the sanctuary of the Goddess Ixchel. The Goddess Ixchel was the person the Post Classic Maya pilgrimage for; they traveled from as far as Chichen Itza to leave her offerings.


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