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Photographer's Note

This is a replica of El Caracol (the Snail), a temple dedicated to Ix Chel, Goddess of the Moon, Fertility, and Pregnancy. The original is located at Punta del Sur, the southeast corner of Cozumel. Tours do not take you there, as there is no way for them to make an extra commission on tourist sales. You would need to organize your own travel arrangements.

The original structure was built between 1200 and 1400 CE, possibly as a navigational aid for shipping. The southwest coast of Cozumel is marked by a series of reefs. Oh, the small dome on top sits atop a rectangular base that supports it, taking the form of a sea conch shell. Its top is missing, but the remaining lower portion is embedded with rows of real conch shells.

El Caracol was built in two phases. Structure 1 sits on a low platform and faces west, as in the above photo. The single doorway and central facade are part of this first construction phase. Later, a larger, similar structure was built, encasing the earlier one to the north, east and south sides. The junction of these two stages in most apparent in the above photograph. The earlier structure had a simple medial molding. The addition features a three-member cornice molding.

The photograph was taken in the Archaeological Park, Chankanaab Lagoon, some 20 kilometres northwest of Punta del Sur.

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Additional Photos by Ken Boulter (Sardonik) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 957] (1979)
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