After viewing the Nohoch Mul group, the local guide felt that his job for the day was finished. I prevailed on him to continue by taking me to the Macanxoc Group as I wanted to photograph Stela #1. The route is via sacbé 9, 20 metres in width, and the widest in Coba. The structures here had a purely ceremonial purpose, sitting on low platforms and featuring a total of 8 stelae, none with, to my eyes, visible features.
The Maya have a cyclical view of time, probably best expressed by the phrase we use in English, "what goes around comes around". There are good days and bad days - Saturday is a good or lucky day. Each day, when it recurs, may tell a tale of ill fortune or good. Rulers would, at the end of 20-year periods (minus 105 days, a katun) cause a stela to be erected in their honour, recording a long-count date. All the stelae at Coba fall in this "I am wonderful" category.
Stela #1, above, rests on a platform with stairways on all four sides. Two altars were placed, facing each side of the stela. The latter is one of the few that has been recorded on all four sides with a total of 313 glyphs. (And no, I did not count them.) What is unique, however, is that four dates of the long count, three from the seventh century, have been recorded. The three refer to past episodes that transpired on January 29, 653, June 29, 672, and August 28, 682 CE. The fourth references the future winter solstice, December 21, 2012. I did photograph all of these stelae but have spared you the uploads.
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