Yaxchilan (also sometimes historically referred to by the names Menché and City Lorillard) is an ancient Maya city located on the
Usumacinta Riverin what is now the state of Chiapas, Mexico.
The ancient name for the city was probably Pa' Chan. Yaxchilan means "green stones" in Maya.
II, who died in his 90s in 742.Fact|date=August 2007
Yaxchilan is known for the large quantity of excellent sculpture at the site, such as the
monolithiccarved stelas and the narrative stone reliefs carved on lintels spanning the temple doorways. [cite book
last= Nikolai Grube &
title= Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens
publisher=Thames & Hudson Ltd.
pages= pp 117, 125
id= ISBN 0-500-05103-8 ]
Rediscovery and modern history
The first published mention of the site seems to have been a brief mention by
Juan Galindoin 1833. Professor Edwin Rockstohof the National College of Guatemalavisited in 1881 and published another short account. Explorers Alfred Maudslayand Désiré Charnayarrived here within days of each other in 1882, and they published more detailed accounts of the ruins with drawings and photographs. Charnay dubbed the ruins "City Lorillard" in honor of Pierre Lorillardwho contributed to defray the expense of his expedition into the Maya zone. Teoberto Malervisited the site repeatedly from 1897 to 1900 and published a detailed two volume description of Yaxchilan and nearby sites in 1903.
Sylvanus Morleyled a Carnegie Institutionexpedition to Yaxchilan, mapped the site and discovered more monuments.
National Institute of Anthropology and History(INAH) conducted archeological research at Yaxchilan in 1972 - 1973, again in 1983, and further INAH work was conducted in the early 1990s.
Since 1990, the project La pintura mural prehispánica en México (The mural prehispanic painting in Mexico) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, examines and records the precolumbian murals, like those in Yaxchilán.
Yaxchilan has long been difficult to reach other than by river. Until recently, no roads existed within 100 miles. The only ways to get to the site were hundreds of miles by boat, or else by small plane. Since the construction of the
Border Highwayby the Mexican Government in the early 1990s, it is possible for tourists to visit. To reach the site, it is necessary now only to take an hour long boat ride down the Usumacinta River from Frontera Corozal.
Maya Bridge at Yaxchilan
* [http://www.pinturamural.esteticas.unam.mx/libros.html De la Fuente, Beatriz: La pintura mural prehispánica en México: Area Maya, Estudios 2001, IIEs, UNAM.]
* Martin, Simon (2004) "A broken sky: the ancient name of Yaxchilan as Pa' Chan" "The PARI Journal" 5(1):1-7.
* Tate, Carolyn E. (1992) "Yaxchilan, The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City". University of Texas Press, Austin. ISBN 0-292-77041-3
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