Try saying that when you have had a couple of glasses of Mexican Rosé… Dzibilchaltún, (Dzeebeelchaltoon is the pronunciation and it translates as ‘the place with writing on the walls) is a Maya archeological site close to the city of Mérida in Yucatan, Mexico. Seven small clay or stone figurines were found at the Temple of the Dolls which led to the name and it is built under the ruins of a previous pyramid. The city has been continuously occupied for 3000 years. It was exciting walking towards the Temple along the ‘sacbe’ or white road wondering what type of religious processions took place there.
The cenôte is likely the reason why the city was situated in that location and it is one of the largest, deepest in the Yucatan. Dzibilchaltún was a wealthy port, close to the Caribbean and local salt production. Archeologists have studied just a portion of the site and have found up to 8000 structures – it must have been a buzzing city with a peak population of about 20,000 to 40,000 people, even larger than Mayapan. Dzibilchaltún was not as remote or quiet as Mayapan but still relatively quiet with many local visitors, some expats and non-tourists just like me! Throughout the ages Dzibilchaltún has changed from a city to a town to its current status as a village. It began to decline in popularity after the rise of Chichen Itza.
When the Conquistadores arrived they used the local stone from previous structures to build a 16th century chapel which is now also a ruin.
Eight stucco masks of the Rain God Chaac were found in the Temple of the Dolls. The Yucatan has no natural lakes or rivers so rain is still much needed to fill the cenotes and water crops. My upbringing in Scotland has given me enough rain to last a lifetime… At the equinoxes the sun shines right through the entrance to the Temple of the Dolls creating a fantastic effect.
On a final side note, my Mexican Rose wine was quite delicious and went well with the food in Yucatan, which is hearty. The Spanish brought wine-making to Mexico and most of it comes from Baja, just below California.