Leaving the Ball Court #2 and heading for the Xaibé, one walks first northeast in the direction of the Nohoch Mul Group, and then southeast. It is here that one encounters the start of Sacbé 1, the most famous of the white roads built by the Maya. The road is close to 100 kilometres in length, and heads west toward the Mayan site of Yaxuna. The latter, in turn, is situated about 20 kilometres southwest of Chichen Itza. The road features an average height of 75 cms and an average width of 9.75 metres. Workers living along the route quarried three quarters of a million cubic metres of rock from the earth for its construction. In building Sacbé 1, a huge expenditure of physical and human resources, the intent was to achieve two objectives: (1) define the western boundary of the centralized state of Coba at Yaxuna; and (2) facilitate commercial and political ties with the Puuc Region to the southwest in the Yucatan. Yaxuna became a focal point for contention between Coba and Chichen Itza, and eventually, I have read that, Chichen Itza trashed much of Yaxuna in 860 CE. From that point in time, Coba's downfall progressed. Now, both Sacbé 1 and the Nohoch Mul group were creations of the terminal classic era, i.e. 800 - 1000 CE.
Road (sacbé) construction was similar to all other construction in the Mayan city. Two vertical walls of roughly-shaped stone were filled with loose stones, while on top smaller stones mixed with earth and mortar were placed. The entire road was finished with a thick layer of stucco. About 60 kms into the road, west, an enormous stone roller was found, used to flatten the surface.
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