Comalcalco Tourist Attractions
From Villahermosa it is 52km/32mi via Nacajuca or 82km/51mi on the MEX 180 and 187 via Cárdenas to the town of Comalcalco (Náhuatl: "in the house of the Comales"; "comalli" = "tortilla pan"; population 31,000). 5km/3mi north-east of the town is the archaeological site of Comalcalco, the most westerly of all the more important Maya sites. It dates from the Maya Late Classic period (AD 600-900) and most probably had its heyday in the 8th c. The site of the temples, the type of stucco decoration and the way it is used, as well as the ornamentation of a gravestone which has been found, all have a certain similarity with the art of Palenque. It is striking that, in the absence of stone and because of the proximity of the sea, levelled burnt bricks and mortar made out of crushed shells were used, something which is unique in the Maya Classic period.
Temple I, a large multi-storey pyramid with the remains of a temple on its summit, stands on the west side of the vast North Square (Plaza Norte). On the left-hand side of the pyramid, at the foot of the wide flight of steps, damaged stucco figures can be seen. On the north side of the square Temple II stands on an eminence. Other buildings are in the process of being uncovered.
In the south part of the site there is a large artificial platform, the Acropolis, which encloses the square of the same name (Plaza de la Acrópolis). On the platform stand two small temples and a building referred to as a palace (palacio). The Tomb of the Nine Lords of the Night (Tumba de los Nueve Señores de la Noche) was discovered not far away. Nine stucco reliefs, three on each side of the tomb walls, presumably represent the nine rulers of the underworld. The figures were once painted red and only to a limited extent display Classic Maya characteristics. The sarcophagus was at some stage plundered by grave robbers.Further down, on a terraced platform, are Temple VI, with an impressive stucco mask, and Temple VII, also with stucco ornamentation, including a seated figure in profile.
The new museum at the excavation site displays evidence which has been found in Tabasco of the pre-Columbian settlement.