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Kuluba is a small, off-the-beaten-path site in northern Yucatan State. The structures as seen today date from the Late Classic (600-900 A.D.), and are found along a few cow paths. It has had some restoration efforts, but is 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 5.7 miles/9.2 kms passing through the small village of San Pedro. Make a left onto an unpaved road for 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. 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. There is a small palapa that contains some nice architectural elements from the site. You can only visit the site with a guide from the property owner.
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
No stelae have been recovered to provide information regarding the history of Kuluba’s leaders or of its economic/political associations with other sites. It may have been under the influence of the larger site of Ek Balam to the southwest. 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. A beautiful tenoned serpent head is on display at the rancho palapa.
There are two main groups; the North Group and the South group. The South Group is formed around a central plaza. The most notable structure here is a wonderfully preserved Palace, identified in this report as Structure 1S. It has a mostly intact, very high vaulted ceiling set upon a raised 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. 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, here called Structure 2S, perhaps of a civic/administrative nature. It contains 5 rooms that open up onto the plaza. There are 2 masks 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. Behind the Palace to the northeast is another structure that will be reported on in the future.
The North Group is located to the northwest of the plaza at a distance of about 800 feet/245 meters, back towards the rancho. The main structure here is a well-proportioned 6 room palace type structure, here called Structure 1N, with 5 south-facing entrances. Like the Palace in the South Group 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 small platform with an equally small terrace in front. Behind the palace is a small plaza 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.
Flanking the front of the palace are two small structures. In front of this is a plaza further to the south with low platforms and a structure with the remains of columns on the east side. Off to the south east is another small plaza with low platforms on the east and west sides. This whole area is heavily overgrown.
It is reported that to the west across the main road are three structures known as Bolonchen. It is on private property and will be an investigation for a later time. Some structures were observed in the distance from the main road and may be those reported.
structure 1 north rear view steve mellard
structure 1 south roof decoration steve mellard
structure 2 south rear view steve mellard
serpent head steve mellard
site view google earth
structure 2 south steve mellard
str 1 n interior doorway steve mellard
structure 1 north detail steve mellard
structure 1 south steve mellard
structure 1 north steve mellard