Uaxactun was an ancient Mayan city, situated just 12 miles north of the most important Mayan city, Tikal. Uaxactun was first inhabited nearly two thousand years BC, but it did not flourish until 500 AD to 900 AD.
Approximate Year of Completion
Late Preclassic Period or Early Classic Period (350 BC-550 AD)
Duration of construction
Late Preclassic Period or Early Classic Period
(350 BC-550 AD)
E-Groups, (like the one observed at Uaxactun) have been theorized to be an observatory due to the precise positioning of the sun through the smaller temples during both the solstices and equinoxes. Wikipedia describes E-Groups as such: “Complexes
of this type consist of a stepped pyramid main structure, situated on the western side of a quadrilateral plaza or platform. A raised but rather elongated structure appears along the eastern side of the plaza, running north-south; a variation has three
smaller temple mounds on top of or replacing this platform, the middle of these substructures placed directly opposite the main structure.” (Wikipedia).
I could not find any material on the construction details of this specific site, but I have been able to find a summary of Mayan construction. The materials used for building Mayan structures were normally types of stone found in the area surrounding the city, usually limestone. There were usually quarries right outside the city where the Mayans would gather stone. “The stones that they pulled from the quarry would be refined by chipping and flaking to a flat surface (Benson 40). The Mayan people also used mortar on their construction projects. They made the mortar by burning limestone in a very technical process. They layered the limestone with wood and put a cylinder or pipe up the middle of the stack. Next they burned the pile to make the mortar (Benson 38)” -Christina Moore
Other significant comments
Uaxactun is special because it is one of the earliest discovered E-Groups. It is important to take away from this project that Mayans were able to master astronomy even before the turn of the millenia.
Sources and references
“Uaxactun Positions of the Rising Sun at Group E.”The world of Ancient Mayas in virtual reality, <http://chichcalan.com/vrml/uaxactun_lines.html> (Apr. 30, 2015).