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Stele 51 from Calakmul on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Stele 51 from Calakmul on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Definition: Calakmul, the 'City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids', is the name given the site of one of the largest and most important cities of the lowlands of the ancient Maya. The other main cities were El Mirador, Nakbe, and Tikal. When El Mirador fell, Calakmul began to rival Tikal politically, and was larger and, at times, more powerful than Tikal.

Calakmul was located in the Yucatan Peninsula tropical forest of the Tierras Bajas, 30 km north of the Guatelmala border. Cyrus Longworth Lundell discovered the site in 1931 and named it Calakmul, based on the Maya words for "two adjacent pyramids".

Calakmul was occupied from Middle Preclassic to Postclassic times. It was the administrative center of an area about 8000 sq km and a population to match, requiring the development of a sophisticated system to supply water, especially during the dry periods.

The first dated inscription from Calakmul is stela 114 from A.D. 431 and found in 1994. It commemorates a Calakmul monarch.

"Extending the Calakmul Dynasty Back in Time: A New Stela from a Maya Capital in Campeche, Mexico," by Sophia Pincemin, Joyce Marcus, Lynda Florey Folan, William J. Folan, Maria del Rosario inter alia. Latin American Antiquity,. 9, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 310-327.

"Calakmul: New Data from an Ancient Maya Capital in Campeche, Mexico," by William J. Folan, Joyce Marcus, Sophia Pincemin, Maria del Rosario Dominguez Carrasco inter alia. Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 310-334.

Online Source:
Site of Calakmul - Maya Archaeology

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Alternate Spellings: Kalakmul

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