TULUM – THE WALLED CITY
The greatest attraction at the Tulum Ruins is its location. Built on a bluff facing the rising sun, this ruin site is the only Maya settlement located on the beaches of the Caribbean. The views continue to be described as spectacular as millions of people visit this Maya ruin in the Riviera Maya.
RUINS IN THE RIVIERA MAYA
The earliest date found in the site is A.D. 564 , an inscription on a stelae. This places Tulum within the Classic Period, though we know that its heyday was much later, 1200 – 1521 A.D., during the Late Post-classic Period. Tulum was the primary location for the Maya’s extensive trade network with both maritime and land routes converging here. Artifacts found in or near the site confirm contact with Central Mexico and Central America. Archeologists found copper rattles and rings from the Mexican highlands; flint and ceramics from the Yucatán, and jade from Guatemala. Tulum was the hub for international trade and responsible for the distribution of goods into the Yucatan through Coba, Chichen Itza and connecting settlements. Tulum was thought to also be a religious center for priests with the walls protecting the sacred leaders.
Archaeologists have evidence that the population was killed off by the Spaniards when they introduced Old World diseases into the area as a way to destroy the native population. Tulum remained inhabited about 70 years after the Conquest, when it was finally abandoned. Documentation of this demise can be found in the writings of Friar Diego de Landa’s Observations on the Yucatan Peninsula. Local Maya continued to visit the temples to burn incense and pray until the late 20th century.