structure A1 palace of the "U's" marcia kirby
structure B1 steve mellard
structure A1 detail steve mellard
structure B1 rear facade hjpd
structure B2 front detail hjpd
structure B2 2015 steve mellard
yucatan map detail hjpd
structure A1 palace of the "U's" steve mellard
structure B2 during restoration 2001 hjpd
structure B1 marcia kirby.
structure A1 palace of the "U's" detail marcia kirby.
site view google earth
str A1 interior passage steve mellard
welcome to the mayan ruins website .
structure B2 rear view steve mellard
serpent head steve mellard
structure B2 detail steve mellard
structure A1 rear steve mellard
Kuluba is a small, yet interesting site in northern Yucatan State. The structures as seen today date from the Late Classic (600-900 A.D.), and are set among a few meandering cow paths. It has had some nice restoration efforts, but is now slowly being overtaken by the low sub-tropical forest. The site is locally promoted though it has no official INAH presence, and is on private property.
The site is located off Highway 15 midway between Tizimin and Colonia Yucatan. Look for signage and take the paved side road south towards Tixcancal and Chan Cenote. Continue for about 5.7 miles/9.2 kms passing through the small village of San Pedro. Make a left onto an unpaved road for another 1.4 miles/2kms to a small rancho, E. Manuel, on the north side of the road. Before reaching the rancho you will literally pass the front door of an old hacienda building. Wave “Hi” to the kids. You will notice some of the ruins on the right-hand side just prior to arriving at the rancho. There is usually someone near the gate to let you in to park your car. A small palapa contains some nice architectural elements from the site including a beautiful tenoned serpent head. You can only visit the ruins with a guide from the property owner. The total distance from Valladolid is about 54 miles/87 kms.
HOURS: no set hours
ENTRANCE FEE: there is a small entry fee and guide service fee
ON-SITE MUSEUM: No
ACCOMODATIONS: Tizimin is the nearest town
GPS: 21d 06’ 54.48” N, 87d 50’ 46.32” W
MISC: Bring your own food and drink
HISTORY AND EXPLORATION
Ceramic evidence attests to an early occupation back to the Late Pre-Classic/Early Classic (300 B.C-250 A.D.), though no structures have been discovered. No stelae have been recovered to provide information regarding the history of Kuluba’s leaders or of its economic/political associations with other sites. The standing structures are from the Late Classic Period (600-900 A.D.). They show a strong Puuc influence, c.800 A.D., having small drum colonettes, and zig-zag stone mosaic decorations. Two structures and a cache found in Group C have architectural and artistic similarities to Chichen Itza. There have also been suggestions of a political/economic link to Ek Balam.
While Kuluba was certainly known to the local population, it wasn’t until 1941 that E. Wylly Andrews IV visited and first reported on the site. The next investigation was carried out in 1970 by students from the University of Yucatan. E. Wyllys Andrews IV conducted field work in 1973. INAH began consolidations and restorations during a major project in 1980, and again in 2001. Investigations are ongoing.
There are three main groups; Groups A, B and C. Groups A and B are currently open to the public. The Group B is formed around a central plaza. The most notable structure here is a wonderfully preserved Palace, identified in this report as Structure B-1. It has a mostly intact, very high vaulted ceiling set upon a raised “L” shaped platform. It is a long structure that runs 154 feet/47 meters on an east/west axis. It has 6 rooms with only the west room collapsed. The rear of the structure features a beautiful upper façade of stacked Chac masks separated by decorative stone mosaics. An impressive roof decoration was removed during restoration work and is now kept under a protective thatched canopy.
Adjacent to the Palace on the east side of the plaza is a structure, Structure B-2, perhaps of a civic/administrative nature. It contains 5 rooms that open up onto the plaza. There are 2 mask panels that adorn the lower portion of the wall facing the plaza. Across from this structure are some low platforms on ground level in a heavily overgrown area. Further to the southeast and then southwest are two small groups that contain a few ruined structures.
Group A is located to the northwest of Group B at a distance of about 800 feet/245 meters, back towards the rancho. It is centered around a plaza. The main structure here is a well-proportioned 6 room palace type structure, Structure A1, also known as the Palace of the “U’s”, so named after its decorative rear façade. It lies on the north end of the plaza, and has 5 south-facing entrances. Like the Palace in the Group B it runs on an east/west axis. The two west and the two east rooms are interconnected length wise. The central entrance leads back to a second room, the whole structure forming a truncated “T”. It is set upon a platform with a small terrace in front. This structure is a good study on Puuc Style construction techniques. Behind the palace is a small courtyard with low platforms. Here I was warned off by my guide as I was coming to close to a killer bee nest. It was the second time coming across these nasty buggers. The other time was on the Coba-Yaxuna Sacbe.
In front of the palace are two small structures. On the east side of the plaza is a structure with the remains of columns. Off to the south east is another small plaza with low platforms on its east and west sides. There are also some low platforms evident on the west side of the plaza. This whole area is heavily overgrown.
It is reported that to the west across the main road is a site with three structures known as Bolonchen. It is on private property and will be an investigation for a later time. Some standing structures were observed in the distance atop a low ridgeline and may be those reported.
structure 1 south roof decoration steve mellard
structure A1 rear 2001 hjpd