This is The “Great Pyramid” of Tabasco

This ancient pyramid is one of the tallest, most imposing pyramids in the state of Tabasco, modern-day Mexico.

The Moral Reforma archaeological site is home to one of the tallest, most imposing pyramids in the state of Tabasco, present-day Mexico.

Dubbed locally as the “Great Pyramid” of Tabasco, it rises through the jungle of the Moral Reforma Archaeological Zone twenty and seven meters tall. To reach its summit, you have to climb a single, narrow stairway flanked by balustrades. There are no masonry structures found on the summit, which is a small, flat area.

The Great Pyramid is considered the highest discovered in the State and one of the most impressive in the region, built in an ancient city that was linked with important Mayan lordships of the time, such as Calakmul and Palenque. The pyramid is referred to by experts simply as building 14. It is a double (paired) pyramid made up of a plinth of asymmetrical facades, the product of various extensions over time, which support buildings 14A and 14B.

The recovered inscriptions are still unclear what the site’s original name was. In honor of a nearby hacienda, Teobert Maler assigned its current name to it. There are numerous structures and mounds arranged into five groups within the zone.

It covers an area of 215 acres/87 hectares, orientated towards the main points of the compass. There are some structures that display characteristics of the Peten style, such as recessed/inset corners. A total of fifteen stelae and 22 altars have been found so far.

Ceramic finds suggest the site was settled around 300 B.C. Most of the structures found today, date back to the heyday of the site, 600 to 800 AD.

It lies in the Usumacinta River Basin, in the middle of a power struggle between Palenque and Calakmul, and containing a number of subsidiary sites. Shifting alliances and warfare have shaped its history.

According to inscriptions at nearby Santa Elena, K’inich Janaab Pakal, Pakal the Great of Palenque attacked and subjugated that site in 659 AD. In the course of the campaign, lords of Pomona, as well as lords of smaller settlements, were captured as well. During this time, Moral-Reforma probably also came under Palenque’s dominance. Piedras Negras, an ally of Calakmul, defeated Santa Elena and Pomona in 662 AD.

During the late Classical period, the site served as a kind of river port that reached its peak around the year 600 AD.

 

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The San Pedro Mártir and Usumacinta rivers were used by the Mayans for agriculture and trade. Communication and trade between the Maya of Petén and the Gulf of Mexico settlers occurred at this settlement.

On the site, you can observe the development of classic Mayan art, which is documented in hieroglyphic inscriptions and monumental architecture, as well as a close connection with Mayan culture.

There are 76 constructions at the site, ranging in height from 1 to 25 meters, including pyramidal bases, elongated platforms, and low circular structures.

Between platforms and pyramidal bases, the Eastern Complex of Moral-Reforma comprises 28 constructions.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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