Minecraft Maps / Complex

Uxmal (920 CE)

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Shalis Morthanien avatar Shalis Morthanien
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
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First things first
I cannot make a perfect 1:1 scale for several reasons. The available maps are often not extremely detailed and the models and reconstructions are themselves also representations of what it might have looked like. Moreover, different sources give different measurements, with height of structures being by far the most diverse. Furthermore, large sections of the ruins haven't been excavated and restored yet.
Regarding the details of the buildings, many walls contain art such as statues, decorated panels and masks, of extraordinary complexity. Especially the Puuc architectural style is known for its intricate art in for example façades. Yet with 1 block being 1 cubic metre, detailed art on buildings is almost impossible to recreate. This is just the nature of reconstructing a ruin with Minecraft.


The Puuc
The Puuc region, located in the southwest of the Mexican state Yucatan, is dominated by a long ridge of hills running west to east. It is an area with temperatures reaching up to 50 degrees C, and long, precarious dry seasons. The landscape here is in essence a limestone shelf and although it has some of the most fertile soils, large swathes of impenetrable limestone bedrock and few permanent water sources have posed severe water problems for both the consumption and agricultural needs of large human populations. And yet, for its seemingly inhospitable climate and landscape, early people have settled in this region thousands of years ago, with tangible archaeological remains dating back to at least Middle Preclassic times (1000 – 300 BCE). In order to cope with the regional shortage of drinking water, the early inhabitants constructed large underground cisterns - called chultunes - and considerable hydraulic works to capture and store rain water. And without major water sources for large-scale irrigation and having steep, nearly soilless hills precluding agricultural terracing, highly productive yet labour-intensive infield gardening was the only viable means for intensive argiculture in the region. Yet, despite all its apparant obstacles, the Puuc region became one of the most densely-populated areas in the entire Maya region.

The culture that arose in this part of the Maya area shared many of its political and religious ideologies with that of the Classic Maya of the Southern Lowlands. What sets the Puuc apart though, is the radically different style of art and architecture. Contrary to the more fluid execution of
the southern traditions, Puuc architecture is notorious for its angular and rectalinear shape, preferring range-type structures over tall pyramids and vast acropoli. Yet with its core-veneer masonry, corbeled vaulting, and elaborate decorative elements and "baroque" façades, Puuc architecture represents the most advanced building style in Mesoamerica.




History of Uxmal
Perhaps no other Maya city, and even Mesoamerican city in general, can match the grandeur and beauty of Uxmal, the largest city in what is known as the Puuc region, in northwestern Yucatán and Campeche, Mexico. The founding of Uxmal took place relatively early in Puuc Maya chronology. The earliest architecture at the site dates to the Proto-Puuc style and period. A steady increase in building activity occurred thereafter, with buildings present in the Early Puuc style. The biggest building spree though came in the Late Classic and Terminal Classic periods, from 800 till possibly 1000 AD. It is in this era that Uxmal garnered more and more power in the region and eventually became the regional capital. During the Terminal Classic, another city to the east experienced a dramatic rise in power and influence: Chichen Itza. Fueled by the migrating and perhaps invading Itza Maya, a group originally from the Gulf Coast, also known as Putun Maya. They were more Mexicanized than their eastern contemporaries and with them came several new cults and icons. These included the cult of the feathered serpent and of the Central Mexican storm god (best known by its Postclassic Nahuatl name Tlaloc). The rise of Uxmal as a state capital might have been as a response to the increasing pressure from Chichen Itza, and Uxmal may have formed a powerful, but short-lived state with cities such as Kabah and Nohpat. There are also indication that Uxmal formed a political and perhaps military alliance with Chichen Itza, as several non-Maya elements can be found in the art of Uxmal (e.g. feathered serpents on the west building, Tlalocs on the north building and reticulated owls on the east building of the Nunnery Quadrangle). At this time (900-910 AD), Uxmal was ruled over by a still enigmatic ruler dubbed by epigraphers Chan Chaak K'ahk'nal Ajaw. However, his name as found on stela 14 at the site reads K'ahk' Pulaj Chan Chaahk, without the K'ahk'nal Ajaw part, suggesting that this might refer to the polity ruling at Uxmal, or the toponym of the city itself. Informally he is known simply as Lord Chac. He is likely responsible for Uxmal's most beautiful and presigious constructions, including the Nunnery Quadrangle, the Governor's Palace, the top of the Pyramid of the Magician (Temple V) and the large ballcourt. The opinions regarding the decline of Uxmal are still divided. While some argue that after the death of Lord Chac in the early 10th century, Uxmal lost its power and went into decline, others argue that cultural and civil activities in Uxmal continued until the end of the 10th century, perhaps even into the early 11th century, making its decline more or less contemporaneous with that of Chichen Itza. As always, new archaeological studies are hoped to shed some light on these questions.

Suggested reading
Andrews, G. F. (1995). Pyramids and Palaces, Monsters and Masks: Architecture of the Puuc region and the northern plains areas (Vol. 1). Labyrinthos.

Carmean, K., Dunning, N., & Kowalski, J. K. (2004). High times in the hill country: a perspective from the Terminal Classic Puuc region. The Terminal Classic in the Maya lowlands: collapse, transition, and transformation, 424-449.

Cobos, R., de Anda Alanís, G., & Moll, R. G. (2014). 5 Ancient Climate and Archaeology: Uxmal, Chichén Itzá, and Their Collapse at the End of the Terminal Classic Period. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, 24(1), 56-71.

Dankenbring, R., & Lee, M. (2016). Animate architecture at Kabah: terminal classic art and politics in the Puuc region of Yucatán, Mexico (Doctoral dissertation).

Kowalski, J. K., & Miller, V. E. (2006). Textile Designs in the Sculptured Facades of Northern Maya Architecture: Women’s Production, Cloth, Tribute, and Political Power. Sacred Bundles: Ritual Acts of Wrapping and Binding in Mesoamerica, 145-174.

Current progress
Structures that are preliminarily finished
- Pyramid of the Magician, including quadrangle
- Nunnery Quadrangle
- Ballcourt
- Governor's Palace
- House of the Turtles
- Great Pyramid
- House of the Pigeons
- South Temple
- Cemetery Group
- Chultunes (optional)

Structures not yet completed
- Terrace of the Monuments
- Northwest Group
- North Group
- West Group
- House of the Old Woman
- Wall
- Residential complexes (optional)


Final comments
If you have questions, suggestions, or other comments, feel free to pm me or leave a comment on this page. A diamond, subscription or favouring would be very much appreciated!

Credits:
Chocapoc shaders
Progress45% complete
Tags

12 Update Logs

Update #13 : 02/02/2021 3:33:07 amFeb 2nd

Loads of new map updates happening these days. Besides the building make-overs I have changed the lintels on the Late-Uxmal style structures (e.g. Governor's Palace and Nunnery Quadrangle) from stone to wooden ones. On many other Puuc buildings, the litnels are made of stone, but because in the Late Uxmal style doorways were made wider, the Maya used lintels made from hardwood to better cope with the pressure on the lintels.



Furthermore, I have made many of the vaults in the Late-Uxmal buildings higher to better correspond to their real-life constructions.



Expect more updates soon.
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1
06/06/2017 4:28 am
Level 49 : Master Architect
bjbrown84
bjbrown84 avatar
Keep up the great work, always love to check out your updates.
1
06/06/2017 7:12 am
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
You have my thanks!
Updates will be few these days, as my study is taking up most of my time at the moment (am almost finished with my internship and need to plan my thesis, the end of my Masters degree).

Also, if you have any further remarks, comments or otherwise suggestions, don't hesitate to share them (hat counts for everyone). All input is welcome.
1
06/08/2017 1:32 am
Level 49 : Master Architect
bjbrown84
bjbrown84 avatar
Yeah, I have this busyness problem too. xD

I always would love to take a walk around your builds.
1
06/08/2017 11:36 am
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Maybe in the future I'll make my maps downloadable. For now I have several buildings whose schematics are available for download. Perhaps I can interest you in those for the time being. ;)
1
06/10/2017 3:50 am
Level 49 : Master Architect
bjbrown84
bjbrown84 avatar
checked them out already.;)
1
06/14/2017 12:56 pm
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Thought as much ^^
1
06/05/2017 3:26 pm
Level 20 : Expert Architect
BuildGodGaming
BuildGodGaming avatar
good work. would like to see more of the pyramids from the cancun area in the future.
1
06/05/2017 4:13 pm
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Thank you. Maybe sometime I will, although at this point I have several unfinished projects. But Tulum or Coba would be nice to reconstruct in MC; especially Tulum with its coastal location.
1
06/05/2017 3:15 pm
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Wolf Whisperer
Myyoyo
Myyoyo avatar
Nice! Keep going.
1
06/05/2017 4:10 pm
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Thanks, and that is the plan ;)
1
03/16/2016 1:51 pm
Level 23 : Expert Architect
Zero_Percent
Zero_Percent avatar
So beautiful!
1
03/17/2016 5:16 am
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
I greatly admire Maya architecture, especially the art of Puuc style architecture.
1
03/30/2016 10:34 am
Level 23 : Expert Architect
Zero_Percent
Zero_Percent avatar
Yeah, you're good at it. :) I am working on Tenochtitlan - the capital of the alliance of 3 (Aztecs). I'd be interested to see your interpretation too.
1
03/30/2016 10:51 am
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Thank you, much appreciated :)
I look forward seeing your take on the Mexica capital.

While it would be very interesting to recreate Tenochtitlan myself, already quite a few people have projects that do just that. So to just be another one with the same project seems a bit pointless to me.
What I would like to reconstruct though, is Monte Alban, the capital of the Zapotec. But before all that I have to finish at least my Copán project. To finish my El Mirador project I really need to gain some skills in worldpainter, but thus far I haven't had the time.
1
03/04/2016 4:15 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
GrayRemnant avatar
Very impressive work so far! Keep it up!
1
03/04/2016 6:28 am
Level 35 : Artisan Architect
Shalis Morthanien
Shalis Morthanien avatar
Thank you. It is a tough ride with all the friezes, but a fun one nevertheless.
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