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Balamku Archeological Zone

Balamku Archeological Zone

Campeche's Balamk˙ Archeological Zone is small but has one brilliant feature: an awe-inspiring, colorfully painted sculptural frieze, which depicts the Mayan cosmic worldview, hidden inside the "House Of The Four Kings" pyramid. The frieze, carved and molded by skilled artisans between 550 and 650 AD was discovered only in 1990 after having lain covered and protected by a later pyramid built over it.

At Balamk˙, which is known to locals as Chunhabil, access to the carvings is gained through a doorway in the side of the House of the Four Kings, more commonly known as Structure I-A, in the Central Group of the North Plaza. The frieze is enormous – about 50 feet wide and 12 feet high – and depicts man's relationship to the universe. Three jaguars separate four vertical scenes portraying the underworld, earth, and heavens, each represented by the Earth Monster, frogs and crocodiles, and the kings of the sky.

On the Map: Balamk˙ Archeological Zone is located at Latitude 18.557000N, Longitude 89.9453W.

How To Get There: On Highway 186, drive west from Xpujil or east from Escarcega to Km 95. Turn north and proceed 3 km on a dirt path to the site.

Need to Know: Flash photography of the frieze is not permitted. Ask the custodian to unlock the door to the frieze and tip him 10 pesos.

Hours of Operation: Open to the public daily, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. No prior permission needed.
Admission: MX$41/US$4.10
Payment: Cash
Services: restrooms, parking

Where to Stay: Rio Bec Dreams, Chicanna Ecovillage Resort

Tour Guide: Diane Lalonde, Rio Bec Dreams Provides transportation, guide service, and lunch. Tour Guide: Nico Feldmann, Kaan Expeditions Email: Website: Mexico City Tel: 555-451-5793. Campeche Tel: 983-119-6152 Provides transportation, guide service, and lunch.

INAH Campeche: Director: C. Lirio Guadalupe Sußrez Amendola Address: Calle 59 No. 36 between 14 and 16, Col. Centro, CAMPECHE / CAMPECHE, CP 24000, Mexico Tel: +52 (981) 816-8179 DIRECT/ 01-98-18-16-91-11/ 01-98-18-11-13-14 DEPT M.H./ +52 (981) 816-2460 FAX Email: read more about Balamku Archeological Zone