Xkichmook - Chacmultún The following images are of two late Classic Maya sites, Xkichmook and Chacmultún, located in the Puuc region of the Yucatan, Mexico. An area noted for it’s many beautiful ruins made from the local warm colored limestone and the use of repeating designs patterns. Xkichmook has a large main structure with Chaac Masks at its corners overlooking a valley on one side and the main south plaza on the other. It has a series of limestone buildings with Chaac masks, symbolic patterns, and corbel arches. They also built underground chambers, chultunes, for holding water in this perennial dry region. At Chacmultún, once one of the larger communities in the area, there are four small complexes of buildings where structures with corbel arches, ornamentation and unrestored mounds remain. Most active around 600 to 1000 A.D., these deteriorating limestone buildings are now slowly being consumed by dirt, vegetation, trees, roots, vines, wind and rain, reclaiming them back to the earth. In their time, these hilltop sites were busy, dynamic centers of the community that served overlapping functions of commerce, government, residences, protection and religion for the elites and their supporting population. Their design and layout reflected both the landscape of the location and the ideology of the Maya who made them. Today, the ruins stagger out of the landscape and back into it morphing with the environment to become one. A thousand years ago, these once ritually charged architectural spaces were the centers of their communities. Here the Maya believed they could manipulate space and time to communicate with their gods and ancestors in order to maintain stability in their lives. The ruins illustrate the pre Columbian Maya’s understanding of the world and through their architecture, how to manipulate it. Now, they help us remember the power of this civilization along with the lost dreams that were once believed here.