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Becan

Becan is the name of an ancient Maya site. Becan is located near the center of the Yucatan Penninsula, in the state of Campeche, Mexico, about 150 km north of Tikal.

Archeological evidence shows that Becan was occupied in the middle Pre-Classic period, about 550 BC, and grew to a major population and ceremonial center a few hundred years later in the late Preclassic. The population and scale of construction declined in the early classic (c 250), although it was still a significant site, and trade goods from Teotihuacan have been found. A system of moats and ramparts were constructed around the site at this time. Around 500 the population again increased dramatically and many large new buildings were constructed, mostly in the Rio Bec[?] style of Maya architecture. Construction of major buildings and elite monuments stopped about 830, although ceramic evidence show that the site continued to be occupied for some time thereafter, although the population went into decline and Becan was probably abandoned by about 1200.

The site was discovered in 1934 by archeologists Karl Ruppert and John Denison, who named it "Becan" after the conspicuous system of moats; the ancient name of the site is not known. From 1969 to 1971 archeological excavations were made at Becan sponsored by Tulane University and the National Geographic Society.



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