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Yaxha

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Yaxha is a Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

n archaeological site
Archaeological site
An archaeological site is a place in which evidence of past activity is preserved , and which has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology and represents a part of the archaeological record.Beyond this, the definition and geographical extent of a 'site' can vary widely,...

 in the northeast of the Petén Basin
Petén Basin
The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, located in the northern portion of the modern-day nation of Guatemala, and essentially contained within the department of El Petén...

 region, and a former ceremonial center and city of the pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 Maya civilization
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

. Located in the modern-day department of Petén
Petén (department)
Petén is a department of the nation of Guatemala. It is geographically the northernmost department of Guatemala, as well as the largest in size — at it accounts for about one third of Guatemala's area. The capital is Flores...

, northern Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, it is approximately 30 km (18.6mi) southeast from Tikal
Tikal
Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala...

, between the Yahxá
Laguna Yaxhá
Laguna Yaxhá is a Guatemalan lake situated in the northern department of El Petén.The ancient Maya City of Yaxhá was built on the shores of Laguna Yaxhá, and the Maya ruins of Topoxté occupy a group of small islands at the western end of the lake....

 and Sacnab lakes. It shares a unique relationship with two other cities (Nakum
Nakum
Nakum is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and a former ceremonial center and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the northeastern portion of the Petén Basin region, in the modern-day Guatemalan department of Petén...

 and Naranjo); together they form a triangle in the midst of which there are other minor sites. This area forms the core of the designated Cultural Triangle Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park
Cultural Triangle Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park
The Cultural Triangle – Yaxha, Nakum, Naranjo is the first multidisciplinary project involving archaeologists, architects, restaurateurs, biologists and obviously workers. It is situated in Peten, Guatemala...

.

The site has more than 500 structures, including 40 stelae, 13 Altars, 9 Temple Pyramids, 2 Mesoamerican ballcourt
Mesoamerican ballcourt
A Mesoamerican ballcourt is a large masonry structure of a type used in Mesoamerica for over 2,700 years to play the Mesoamerican ballgame, particularly the hip-ball version of the ballgame. Over 1,300 ballcourts have been identified, 60% in the last 20 years alone...

s, and a network of sacbe
Sacbe
right|thumb|Sacbe at Dzibilchaltun in the Yucatánthumb|right|Arch at the end of the sacbé, Kabah, YucatánSacbe, plural Sacbeob, or "white ways" are raised paved roads built by the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica...

ob
(causeways) that connect the central, northern (Maler), and eastern 'acropoleis', and the Lake causeway that was the main entrance in the past. The top of Temple 216 (restored) provides a view of the two lakes on one side and the jungle and the stepped-pyramids on the other.

On Plaza C is the only twin-pyramid complex outside of Tikal, that commemorates a Katun
Katun (Maya calendar)
A k'atun or k'atun-cycle is a unit of time in the Maya calendar equal to 20 tuns or 7,200 days, equivalent to 19.713 tropical years. It is the 2nd digit on the normal Maya long count date...

, a 20 years period, there are 7 in Tikal, also known as the stela plaza. The fact that the site holds the twin-pyramid complex can be a visible insight on the political alliances that eventually influenced the architectural style of the city at its peak.

The Temple K is being restored here, at the entrance of the site. The city has 3 main groups, the East Acrópolis built on an elevated platform, is the tallest point of the site and in front of it are several Stelas broken long ago. The main ball court is restored, and located near the Central Acrópolis. The Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

 is financing its undergoing restoration.

Topoxte
Topoxte
Topoxte is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site in the Petén Basin in northern Guatemala with a long occupational history dating as far back as the Middle Preclassic. As the capital of the Ko’woj Maya, it was the largest of the few Postclassic Mesoamerican sites in the area...

 outpost of Yaxhá during the Late Classic
Mesoamerican chronology
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian , the Archaic , the Preclassic , the Classic , and the Postclassic...

, is nearby and was the largest Postclassic
Mesoamerican chronology
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian , the Archaic , the Preclassic , the Classic , and the Postclassic...

 Maya site in Petén Basin
Petén Basin
The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, located in the northern portion of the modern-day nation of Guatemala, and essentially contained within the department of El Petén...

. This site located at the "Yaxhá, Nakum
Nakum
Nakum is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and a former ceremonial center and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the northeastern portion of the Petén Basin region, in the modern-day Guatemalan department of Petén...

, Naranjo
Naranjo
Naranjo is an ancient city of the Maya civilization in the Petén Basin region of the central Maya lowlands. It is located in the present-day department of Petén, Guatemala about 10 km west of the border with Belize. It is located within the area of the Cultural Triangle of Yaxha, Nakum, Naranjo...

 National Park" is today one of the most visited sites in the northeast of the Peten.

Yaxha is notable for the unique survival of its toponym from the Classic period, when it was a thriving city. In 1985, David Stuart
David Stuart (Mayanist)
David Stuart is a Mayanist scholar and professor of Mesoamerican art and writing at the University of Texas at Austin.-Early life:He is the son of Mayanist scholars George Stuart and Gene S. Stuart...

 first proposed that the emblem glyph of the site should be read Yax-ha and that the name of the city (and the lake) is of ancient origin.

The TV reality show Survivor: Guatemala - The Mayan Empire
Survivor: Guatemala
Survivor: Guatemala — The Maya Empire, commonly referred to as Survivor: Guatemala, is the eleventh season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed in the Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park near the more popular Tikal National Park, located in...

was filmed on location here on 2005.

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