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Xpujil (also spelled Xpuhil) and Becan are ruins in what is called the Rio Bec area. They are both just west of the small town of Xpujil, Campeche. Xpujil is a approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Chetumal, Quintana Roo. Both are easily reached from Highway 186. It was here I first encountered an old nemesis, the mosquito. While they were not so thick you could knock down a few dozen with a single swing, they were numerous enough I could hear a constant buzz. Actually, to do them justice, in my experience no mosquito can be knocked down by a swing. They keep coming back like the villian in a cheap slasher movie. Even though (thinking ahead) I wore long sleeves and long pants, I still got quite a few bites. This, and the heavy coastal rains, played a major role in my decision to not visit Coba, where the mosquitos are known to be worse. I arrived in Xpujil around 11am. The local taxis and combis all seemed to be on their midday break. As I walked past a few of them, I did not get a single solicitation for a ride. The entrance to the Xpujil ruins is less than 1 kilometer from the center of town. The entrance to Becan is about 6 kilometers (3.5 miles) further west. Chicanna is another kilometer further down. I did not have enough time to go to Chicanna. I was the only visitor at both Xpujil and Becan. The Rio Bec area gets much fewer of the casual tourists than do the northern Maya sites.



Xpuhil (also Xpujil) is a Maya archaeological site located in the Mexican state of Campeche, in the vicinity of the modern-day town of Xpujil. The area surrounding Xpuhil, along Federal Highway 186, is rich with other Maya sites, including Becan and Calakmul.



The name xpuhil means "cat's tail" in reference to a type of vegetation found locally.



Evidence at the site indicates settlement as early as 400 BC. The pre-Columbian inhabitants of Xpuhil reached their zenith between AD 500 and 750, and went into decline around 1100.



Xpuhil was rediscovered in the late 1930s. To date, 17 groups of constructions have been uncovered, which mostly follow Río Bec architectural canons. Structure I is of particular interest because it is not in the Río Bec style, with its three towers and atypical distribution of interior spaces.




Becan is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Becan is located near the center of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the present-day Mexican state of Campeche, about 150 km (93.2 mi) north of Tikal. The Maya sites of Balamku, Calakmul, Chicanna and Xpuhil are nearby. The name Becan was bestowed on the site by archaeologists who rediscovered the site, meaning "ravine or canyon formed by water" in Yukatek Maya, after the site's most prominent and unusual feature, its surrounding ditch.



Archaeological evidence shows that Becan was occupied in the middle Pre-Classic period (see: Mesoamerican chronology), about 550 BCE, and grew to a major population and ceremonial center a few hundred years later in the late Preclassic. The population and scale of construction declined in the early classic (c 250 CE), although it was still a significant site, and trade goods from Teotihuacan have been found. A ditch and ramparts were constructed around the site at this time. There is a ditch that runs the circumference of the city which covers approximately 25 hectares (61.7 acres). Around 500 the population again increased dramatically and many large new buildings were constructed, mostly in the Rio Bec style of Maya architecture. Construction of major buildings and elite monuments stopped about 830, although ceramic evidence show that the site continued to be occupied for some time thereafter, although the population went into decline and Becan was probably abandoned by about 1200.

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