Uxmal Ruins
Yucatán, México

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UxmalThe Pyramid, House, or Temple of the Magician, Soothsayer, or Dwarf stands unique among Maya Structures. El Adivino (its Spanish name) is odd as a pyramid, oval shaped at the base with curved corners continuing through the second platform. The modern structure resulted from rebuilding over four superimposed temples each built over the previous. This is a common technique used by the Maya in building ever grander and larger temples.

Mayan Site of UxmalI often wonder why the Maya settled in the Puuc mountain area at all. There is no surface water, no ground water, no cenotes. The ground, or rather, the limestone, is very porous, and there is a dry season. To collect and save water, the Maya built chultuns - underground cisterns with large collecting plates or connected by gutters to building rooftops. During the rainy season, rainwater was collected for use during dry times.

Maya site of UxmalThe grounds around the plazas and buildings contain these water collecting chultuns. This is why most of the structures of the northern Yucatán have flat roofs with broad paved platforms around them. The rains were very important with reference made to Chac, the god of lightning (not rain), whose masks are frequently found on the facades of buildings. "Let it Rain. Let it Rain. Let it Rain, Rain, Rain."

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