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Zona 7 - Indian Chief Travel
GUATEMALA  |  Guatemala City, Guatemala Travel Guide
Friday, February 22, 2019
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Zona 7

Zona 7

Zone 7 is a rather scrappy part of the city that includes a garbage dump, along with the ruins of an ancient Maya city.

Kaminal Juyú Ruins, Colonial Kaminal Juyú, 23 Avenida. This was once the largest Maya city in the Guatemalan highlands. It was built during the Middle Preclassic period (1000-500 BC) and grew into an important trade center. By AD 100, over 200 hundred pyramids had been constructed in the area, the largest reaching up to 59 feet (18 meters). Through a series of alliances with its powerful northern neighbor, El Mirador, Kaminal Juyú was able to develop into an important commercial center trading in jade and obsidian.

For many years it was thought that the existence of this city was a myth. Archeologists had come across references to it, but they had no physical proof. Its discovery was accidental; in the early 1970s the area was being bulldozed to make room for housing. Underneath were remains of Kaminal Juyú. The city contained some astonishing discoveries, including hieroglyphics that proved the Maya were literate much earlier than previously calculated, before even Tikal or Copán were built. In AD 400, the Teotihuacán from Central Mexico invaded the city and made it their regional capital. They soon controlled the region’s jade and obsidian mines and their rulers constructed temples and buildings on top of the old.

Archeologists have now completed over 200 excavations and have found a variety of Maya ceramics, sculpture and architecture. Tombs contained corpses preserved with cinnabar and surrounded by sacred objects such as obsidian knives, stingray spines and quartz crystals. Many of the structures have been left underground in order to preserve them. To visit these ruins you need a special permit from the Anthropological&Historical Institute (Instituto Guatemalteco de Antropología e Historiá), IGAEH. You can obtain the permit at their office on 12 Avenida 11-65, Zone 1. Admission is Q10, which includes your permit.

Last updated November 23, 2007
Posted in   Guatemala  |  Guatemala City
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