Yesterday we went to the Mayan ruins of Dzibilchaltún. This is a very early Mayan city. It pre-dates many of the cities further south, which would make it probably the earliest northern Yucatán Peninsula cities. I have read that the building of the city can be dated back to AD 200 with pretty good certainty. There are also reports that it could have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC. That would be about the time of Moses in the Bible. I tend to doubt that one, but theoretically it is possible.
It has a beautiful cenote that is about 140 feet deep at the deepest. It is mostly shallow and has a sloping hole that would be like a 140 foot long funnel. This goes down and connects into the underground river system that connect throughout the Yucatán. When we were there the water was murky due to the heavy rains we have gotten over the last several days.
At the main structure, The Temple of the Seven Dolls (pictures), the sun shines through and is perfectly framed by the doors of the temple at 5:00 am on the equinoxes. The temple gets its name from 7 dolls that were found in it. My wife thinks the cleaning lady had her daughter there with her one day while she was working and the girl forgot her dolls when they left. Hundreds of years later the dolls were found and now have a temple named after them.
Dzibilchaltún is just 10 minutes outside of the city of Mérida. The structures are not near as large as those at Chichen Itza or Uxmal. The square mileage is quite broad at Dzibilchaltún. The official number is 9 square miles are what they have mapped out, but I have also seen numbers as high as 19 sq/miles.
There are many neat places near town here. It is good to be able to go see them on occasion.