Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The ancient Maya site of Sayil is located in the Puuc region of northern Yucatan approximately halfway between the sites of Kabah and Labna (Figure 1). It is a very large site both in terms of extensive public architecture and areal extent, although it is not nearly as well known as Uxmal nor are many of its structures visited by tourists. Our current knowledge of the site's overall layout is based on the 1934 map prepared by Edwin Shook under the direction of Harry Pollock during the latter's survey of Puuc architecture for the Carnegie Institution of Washington (Pollock 1980). A brief initial reconnaissance of Sayil was undertaken in May-June in 1983 with the intention of laying the groundwork for a full-scale multiyear exploration of the settlement and community patterns of the site. This initial research has given us a much clearer picture of the nature of Sayil's settlement than was heretofore available and has allowed us to carefully plan for future research.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



Maya, Settlement, Yucatan, Architecture, Community