Oxtankah


Location

This site  is just 16 km away from the city. In order to arrive at this site you must take the road leading Chetumal-Calderitas and from this town continue on the paved road that borders the bay; 4.5 km to the north you will find the signs signalling the accesses to this site.

Oxtankah is the name given this site in 1937 by the archaeologist Alberto Escalona Ramos to an extensive pre hispanic settlement located to the north of the city of Chetumal.  It received this denomination in part due to the large quantity of ramon trees ( Ox  in the Mayan language) that surround the area, the original name of the area is unknown.

It is the largest and most important pre hispanic settlement  on the bay of Chetumal; it has a large construction sequence and some investigators consider that it corresponds to the ancient Chactemal in historical references.

Between the years 600- 300 B.C ( second half of the Pre classic Medium) the inhabitants lived in houses made of perishable materials in an area that would be later known as the Bee Plaza.

Late Preclassic era ( 200 B.C – 150 D.C) a formal socio-economic system was instituted which allowed inhabitants of Oxtankah to formalise their residency and obtain a certain rank in life.

Later on, during the Early Classic era ( 200- 600 D.C) this economic structure was supported allowing for the population to enter the highest ranks of development and prosperity, situation which allowed it to maintain itself until the late classic era (600- 800 DC)

After this point in time the city was abandoned, the ancient inhabitants no longer resided here permanently and returned only for ceremonies and rituals. One of the evidences that support archeological investigation are the fragments of ceramic that were thrown out during daily living of the inhabitants from the city and which can be found in the floor upon which they lived.

The number of fragments obtained, reflects the high flow of activity during these eras.

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 17:00, cost is 42 pesos.