Pyramid of the Magician – The great Mesoamerican structure in Uxmal

The central structure in the Maya ruin complex of Uxmal. The Pyramid of the Magician dominates the center of the complex and is located at the entrance to the central court. Construction of the first pyramid temple began in the 6th century AD and the structure was expanded over the next 400 years. The pyramid fell into disrepair after 1000 A.D. and was thereafter looted during the Spanish Conquest of Yucatán.

The name of the structure is derived from folk legends told by the indigenous Mayan people. According to one account, a magician-god named Itzamna was single-handedly supposed to have erected the pyramid in one night, using his might and magic / Image source

Restoration efforts began in Uxmal in the mid-19th century. The Pyramid of the Magician was regularly repaired and maintained during this period. In the early 1970s, a major conservation project was undertaken by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

The height of the Pyramid of the Magician is in dispute and has been reported as tall about 35 meters. The base measuring approximately 70 by 50 meters. Despite the absence of an exact measurement, the pyramid remains the tallest structure at Uxmal.

The Pyramid of the Magician is considered unique because of its rounded sides, considerable height, steep slope, and unusual elliptical base. Two staircases lead to the top of the pyramid. The facades from five different eras, were decorated with stone masks of the rain god Chaac, typical of the Puuc architectural style of the region.


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