Public History Day Eight - Becán and the trip to Calukmul
On Tuesday, June 7, we checked out of the Francis Drake hotel in Campeche, traveled to the archaeological site at Becán, and then continued on to the Chicanná Ecovillage near Calukmul. The route took us from the northern border of the state of Campeche roughly 200 kilometers to the south.
Becán is located in central Campeche, along highway 186, six kilometers west of the town of Xphil. Construction at Becán began as early as 550 CE., and it became a political, economic, and religious center of the Rio Bec area. The city features large plazas surrounded by monumental architecture built in the Rio Bec style.
Becán was one of the many cities in the region that fought against Tikal, the major military power in the Petén forest of Guatemala, some 150 kilometers to the south. As a result, the leaders of Becán had a 2 kilometer moat and wall constructed around the city between 100 and 250 CE. Expansion at Becán briefly slowed after that period only to rebound again during the classic period around 550 CE. The city remained inhabited until 1200 AD.