Sites & cities that bear the name of Sayil


Today in : Mexico
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E
Recorded names : Chac II

Description : Sayil is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatán, in the southwest of the state, south of Uxmal. It was incorporated together with Uxmal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Sayil flourished principally, albeit briefly, during the Terminal Classic period. A number of badly damaged monuments suggest that Sayil was governed by a local royal dynasty, with wealth among lineages based, at least in part, upon control of the best agricultural lands. Sayil and other Puuc sites are thought to occupy an important place in the transition from Classic Period Maya culture to Postclassic society, experiencing a brief cultural florescence during the Terminal Classic, shortly after the Classic Maya collapse had depopulated the Maya lowlands. The brief occupational history of the site has raised the possibility that Sayil developed from an earlier settlement known as Chac II, a small archaeological site in the same valley that was occupied as early as the fifth century AD. Radiocarbon and obsidian hydration dating place Sayil relatively early in the Terminal Classic. Ceramic remains recovered from the Palace indicate trade with the Petén region of Guatemala during the Late Classic, and the Guatemalan origin of obsidian artifacts suggest that Classic-period trade routes were dominant when the monumental architecture at Sayil was built. Although Sayil's origins lie in the Late Classic, the Terminal Classic saw the period of most rapid expansion. Various C-shaped structures around the Mirador Complex and the structure of the terrace of the Great Palace are evidence of continued occupation after the abandonment of the monumental structures of the site core and there was a brief period of continued occupation in the residential parts of Sayil. The primary phase of occupation at the site appears to have been 800 to 950 AD (Late to Terminal Classic) with some kind of reoccupation after the abandonment of the city.

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