Chichen Itza, Mexico
Since 1994, Prof. Geoffrey E. Braswell has conducted archaeological field and laboratory research at the important Terminal Classic to Early Postclassic Chichen city of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. In 2009, Braswell and a team of six UCSD graduate students were invited by Dr. Rafael Cobos Palma (Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan and Director of the Proyecto Chichen Itza: Estudio de la comunidad clasico tardio) to conduct archaeological investigations at the city.
The goal of our research is to understand the growth of the center of the city, and particularly the expansion of the Great Platform on which many of the famous structures of Chichen Itza are built. Our results demonstrate that the Great Platform expanded slowly over time, and that the introduction of “Toltec” influence in the architecture of the site center was a gradual process of local innovation, adoption, and adaptation.
In our first operation, we excavated a 90-m section of the wall that surrounds the Great Platform. Our second operation consisted of horizontal trenching of the Great Platform on the east side of the Pyramid of Kukulkan all the way to the Group of 1000 Columns. This work was directed by four graduate students and Braswell. Finally, two more UCSD students surveyed a large portion of the city with Dr. Cobos.
Follow links to our 2009 annual report as well as additional photos and film clips of UCSD research at Chichen Itza.