A classic example of Puuc architecture (see the Uxmal entry), Sayil was established in the eighth century A.D. Before that time, few Maya apparently lived in the region, probably because they had no efficient way to access the water table, which lies at least 200 feet below ground there. Only when local Maya learned to store water by digging chultunes, or small underground cisterns, were they able to expand their numbers significantly in the region. Each Sayil household had at least one chultune—a fact that has helped archeologists determine that by the ninth century, Sayil boasted about 17,000 urban and suburban residents. The site today features a platform for stelae, a ball-court, and a number of palaces, including the magnificent Three-Storey Palace with its rounded columns.

Sayil Sayil features elegant Puuc-style architecture.

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