Nixtun-Ch'ich', Shadow Map, December 2014



Nixtun-Ch’ich’ is a large archaeological site on the western edge of Lake Petén Itzá. Its size and central planning warrant its classification as a city. The site covers 2 km2 and includes an immense gridded ceremonial core and several outlying ceremonial groups. The core contains a large triadic group and numerous other monumental constructions. The outlying ceremonial groups include two ballcourts, one of which is likely the second largest in the Maya region.   Nixtun-Ch’ich’ played key roles in the Itza political system both before and after the conquest. The site was the location of a 17th-century port town called Nich, the capital of the Chak’an Itza; hence, it is the optimal place to investigate the political activities of Chak’an Itza elite, particularly efforts to promote their legitimacy as alternatives to the central Itza ruler. A colonial mission, San Jeronimó, also rests within the site boundaries.

Late Postclassic and Colonial Period Nixtun-Ch’ich’
Preclassic Period Nixtun-Ch’ich’

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