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JAINA- Campeche (Yucatan), Mexico
Jaina is a small site located on an island off the western coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, north of the state capital Campeche. It is located within the Parque Natural Petenes. It is considered by some researchers to be a burial ground for the Maya elite, renowned for the realistic and gracefully executed figurines found with those interred there. It is thought that there are over 20,000 graves located here, with about 1,000 so far excavated. Other researchers believe it to have been an important trade center.
It is most easily accessible by boat from Campeche. There is however, a road that is being constructed that will link Jaina to the small town of Pomuch, and expected to be open in the near future.
HOURS: Closed to the public, but special permission can be obtained through tourist agencies or from the INAH office in Campeche.
ENTRANCE FEE: Check with tourist agencies or INAH
GUIDES: Guides available through tourist agencies
ON-SITE MUSEUM: No
ACCOMMODATIONS: Lodging and food can be found in Campeche
GPS: 20d 12' 44" N, 90d 29' 20" W
Ceramic evidence points to Jaina being settled in the latter part of the Late Pre Classic, (300 B.C.-200 A.D.). Most of its surviving masonry structures date from the Late Classic (600-900 A.D.), with the site being occupied until the end of the Terminal Classic (1200-1450 A.D.). Some of the structures show Puuc architectural influence.
The site has been known since Colonial times, and was pillaged for its cut stone to use in the construction of homes and roads on the mainland. This sad condition has afflicted many ancient sites. It was later plundered for the stunning ceramic figures found there.
The site was first reported on by Desiree Charney in the late nineteenth century. This was followed up with excavation and restoration work by Mexican archaeologists from INAH, and continues to this day.
There are reported to be about forty structures throughout the site, with some forming into two complexes and a ball court group. Many of these structures have been only partially excavated.
The Zayosal Group is located on the west side of the island. It contains a number of low platforms built around small plazas and courtyards, and a tiered, flat topped pyramid.
The Zacpol Group is located inland. This is a group of low platforms formed around a plaza. The Ball Court Group is located further to the east.