The Pyramid of the Magician

The Pyramid of the Magician (El Adivino) is the central structure in the Maya ruin complex of Uxmal. The Pyramid of the Magician is also referred to as the Pyramid of the Soothsayer. Uxmal is located in the Puuc region of Mexico and was one of the largest cities on the Yucatán Peninsula. At its height, Uxmal was home to about 25,000 Maya. Like other Puuc sites, the city flourished from 600-1000 AD, with the great building period taking place between 700 and 1000 AD. The name Uxmal means ‘thrice-built’ in the Mayan language, referring to the many layers of construction of its most imposing structure.


The city of Uxmal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 as it is considered that the ruins of the ceremonial structures represent the pinnacle of late Maya art and architecture in their design, layout and ornamentation. The Pyramid of the Magician dominates the center of the complex and is located at the tourist entrance to the central court. It is positioned on the eastern side of the city, with its western face overlooking the Nunnery Quadrangle and is situated so that its western stairway faces the setting sun at the summer solstice.

Another temple at the top, Temple V, was built around A.D. 1000. It might have been inspired by the Governor’s Palace, which stood nearby.

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