Ek Balam site: (meaning black or dark jaguar)
The next morning I took off to see my next ancient site of Ek Balam. It was only a couple of miles away. After I drove in the parking lot, I parked close to the entrance building to get some shade of the few trees available. There were several men on the porch and wanted to know if I wanted a guide. Thanks, but no. I wanted to take my time and poke around.
The site was down a path that also had fairly decent trees shading it. It was a hot day and the shade sure was a valuable commodity. After passing through several low walls I was greeted by the arched building. It was the perfect example of the 'end of the road depot house', or the 'welcome to Ek Balam' arch. I could just see the road stopping at the arch building and people going through the arch and down the steps into the city. It was beautifully reconstructed. I climbed the building that had rounded corners and could see most of the site from the top. It was grand and beautiful. Ek Balam was a wonderful site only about 1% explored. The stucco reliefs were well preserved as they were all covered with protective roofs to save them from the elements. After climbing down to the plaza I made my way around the perimeter of the site beyond the backside of the temple that hasn't been excavated as of yet. I found a trail that lead off into the bushes and after walking it for a short ways; I ended up in a field whose crop was already harvested. There were signs that workmen had used the bush area to rest and eat in, as it was trashy with paper litter. I knew there wasn't going to be any great finds there, so I made my way back into the site and found myself at the corner of the big temple. The rooms on the first floor ran the whole length of the temple, with huge doors entering each one. In a couple were huge stone benches. In the middle the temple a staircase ascended to the upper levels. That would be where the 'angels' would be located. When I reached the top of the steep steps I found myself on the platform with the most amazing stucco workmanship that would not be equaled at any other site. It was beautiful. The Earth Monster mouth supported the statues of the kings of Ek Balam. They did have wings, but not angel wings. The wings were an expression done in metaphor showing each king had divine right to King-God ship and was directly connected to the Heavenly Cosmos. There were once 7 kings, but two are missing. Each King was in the family lineage of rulers that ruled the ancient city of Ek Balam. The same expression of Divine Kingship is shown at the site of Kabah, with the two kings statues mounted on the back of the Codz Poop temple. The wings they had were etched in the stone. (See picture in the entry on Kabah). By the way, the Earth Monster mouth also is a metaphoric symbol of entering the underworld, or the entrance to the heavenly cosmos to become in touch with the ancestors and gods that resided at Galactic Center of the Milky Way.
The pictures for the rest of the site speak for themselves. I really enjoyed the visit and slowly made my way back by way of the ball court and out the arch to my home away from home for a few days at Genesis Retreat. More later, Gay