After 1200 CE, Tulum experienced a boom. Many of its temples bear similarities to the Itza structures of Mayapan (and yes, eventually I will upload photos from this latter site). The influence disappears around 1450 CE, when characteristics reflective of Central Mexico reappeared. Bright Mixtec-style murals were painted on the temple walls of Tulum (also at Xel-Ha), but the subject matter was decidedly local. It was at this time that Tulum reached its zenith as a trading centre, experiencing a population level of about 600. Rulers built a huge defensive wall around the site of 4 metres in height, 380 metres in length to the west, and 170 metres in width to the north and south. In this photograph, you can just see the wall on the right, and the northeast entrance gate (vaulted). There are five gates to Tulum; 2 on each of the north and south sides, and 1 in the centre to the west.
The House of the Cenote is located in the northeast section of the precinct close to the wall and gate. It underwent two phases of construction - initially there was a square structure with two rooms, followed by a small chamber on the southwest, with an entrance to the south reached by a staircase. This may be seen in the photo. The cenote, with water only during the rains, is lower left. To the east of the structure there is a portico of columns and inside a bench and a shrine. Under the floor there is a tomb and ossuary containing the remains of several individuals. The building could have been used as an Ajaw Naj, House of the Lords, where remains of rulers were deposited.
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