Becán Archaeological Site

A major center for religion, politics, and economics of the Rio Bec region, Becán is a fascinating city of the ancient Maya during the Classic Period. It depicts the Rio Bec style, and has representations of two of their gods: Kinichna and the Witz Monster.

According to the signage at the site, Becán means trench, and was named so because of the 2-kilometer-long trench that circles most the city. Another translation states that it means “road of the serpent”. There are several roads, or sacbe, going from the city of Becán, that possibly lead to the cities they ruled over as the leader in economics and religious acts. The oldest buildings are dated to approximately 550 CE, and Becán reached its peak around 600-800 CE. It is a great representation of the Rio Bec and Chenes architectural style.

The Rio Bec architecture style is represented in the way the buildings were constructed, laid out, and decorated. In the Rio Bec region, buildings were usually placed on a quadrangular base. There were several chambers on each of the different levels of the temples. Towers are also a Rio Bec feature, although these may have been just for show. Cross and checkerboards are used as decorative flourishes in this style. Also, images of serpents were used regularly, and gives credit to the other translation of Becán as “road of the serpent”.

Representations of the Sun God Kinichna and Witz “Earth” Monster are both found on temples at Becán and are incredible condition considering the time since this city was last occupied. The statue of Kinichna is found on Structure X, is made from stucco and it is enclosed behind a glass case to further preserve it as the condition is better than most. The depiction of the Witz Monster is located at the top of Structure IX. There was once a sculpture of the Earth Monster on each side of the staircase, but only the one remains. It is a wonderful thing to see, and the best view of it is standing in front of it near the top of the temple.

The excavation that Ricardo Bueno C. and others have done at Becán has allowed us to see a different style of Maya architecture and style at a major regional center. Representations of their Gods also allow to see once again how important their religion was to them. Ricardo Bueno C is commemorated at the entrance of the site.