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Maya ruins > San Gervasio ruin on Cozumel

The history of San Gervasio dates back to 300-400 AD. During the period of 1000 - 1200 AD, the Itzas dominated Cozumel, from which point they controlled the trade between Yucatan and the region. Archaeological evidence exists which indicates that the urban settlement model of San Gervasio was copied from the capital of the Itza with its plazas connected by Sacbe (white roads built by the Maya) like at Chichen Itza, and pottery notably influenced by this culture.

San Gervasio is a nice but unimpressive site. Allow an hour and be prepared for a 20 peso state tax on top of the 33 peso entrance fee. This is the first site we have ever seen this tax. We hope it is not a trend, as the only thing that impressive about this site were the iguanas..
This iguana was the most colorful I have ever seen. He was over 3 feet long and not afraid of me at all. He was worth the 6 km. trip from the city of Cozumel.
In prehispanic days, this construction was the entrance or exit of the central part of San Gervasio, leading to the coastal sites which were reached by means of a Sacbe. The pilgrims and traders would reach the famous sanctuary of the Goddess Ixchel and deposit an offering at the altar that lies in the middle of the vaulted passageway. Here one can appreciate the kind of vaulting used, which is shaped like an inverted staircase, common on the east coast.
The building that contains these hand prints is aptly named "The Little Hands Structure." It's an unimpressive building comprised of two rooms in which a small temple was built in the interior of one of them. Its use could have been residential as much as ceremonial since the interior space is quite ample. It is thought that it could have been the house of the Itza Overlord of Cozumel during the period of 1000-1200 AD and that the inner temple was his personal shrine.
The "Murcielagos" and Round House was the most important building in the Late classic period in San Gervasio (600-1000 AD) since the principal center of the site was found here in which the Overlord lived. The building remained in use during later periods, but was no longer the center, which was moved to the Central Plaza and subsequently, the other structures of the group were built. The Round House is an unusual building due to its two rounded platforms and its altar which is also round.

Last updated: June 30, 2012

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