The origen of the Itzá is from the Chontal lineage. Because it was such a large group, people from other settlements referred to all the inhabitants of this old Mayan city as Itzás. This is where the name Edzná/Itzná comes from – house of the Itzás. The first evidence of occupation dates to 400 A.D. Great agriculturists, they developed a well-organized society and built monumental buildings and a watering system for their crops. Between 400 and 1000 AD they instituted a legitimate government whose power was based on a relationship between the governors and the deities. They slowly fell into wreck and ruin until they disappeared in 1450.
The main plaza is a large space where you will find the largest number of buildings. To the north and south, there are two sac-be, white roads, that were used for inside circulation. The platform of the knives and the patio of the ambassadors date to 1000 – 1200 AD. The nohochná or big house was possibly used for administrative purposes or as bleachers for seeing events celebrated in the main plaza. The south temple is made up of five parts with moldings and corners dating between 600 and 900 AD.
The ball court is made up of two parallel structures. On the top part are rooms that were possibly used to house images of the gods associated with the events, along with things needed for the games. The temple of the masks has two representations of the sun god with characteristics of the Mayan elite – crossed eyes, mutilated teeth, nose and ear guards, and feathered headdress. The small acropolis, dating to 200 BC, has four buildings on top of it that make up a central patio. Some of the oldest elements in Edzná are found here: a huge stucco mask from the Superior Pre-Classis period, three stellae of the eight baktun (between 41 and 435 AD), and ceramics dating from 250 – 400 BC.
The grand acropolis is a large quadrangle space over which various monumental structures were built; the most impressive is the five storey building dating to 652 AD. Puuc patio is surrounded by various constructions covered with heavily carved quadrangle, rectangle and cylindrical stone blocks. From this with curved talus, you will note a sculpture in the shape of a square frame showing the rain god Chaac and glyphs of celestial beings, the day mix and the month yax. Right in the middle of the principal patio you will find the temascal, a nahualt word that refers to steam baths. Entrance into the temascal was limited because of its religious importance.
Don’t miss the Light & Sound Show of the Itzaes every Thursday through Sunday night at 8 PM in the summer and 7 PM in the winter. This is an impressive, worthwhile show.
How to get there
From Campeche City: Located 61 km southeast of Campeche city via highway 180, turn off towards highway 261 at km. 45. Or you can go via the village of Chiná, Pocyaxum and Nohacal, 48 kms from Campeche.
From Mérida: To reach Edzná, follow the signs from the road between Mérida and Campeche. There is a small information hut at the entrance where you will pay your entrance fee of 41 pesos. The hut also serves as a small store for local handicrafts.