The splendid and ancient city of Uaxactún, is the quintessential archaeological site of the Mayan culture. It is located in the Republic of Guatemala, in the northeastern part of Petén, in the so-called Lowlands, and 23 kilometers north of Tikal. In the middle of the exuberant and dense jungle area, is the most important ancient complex of the pre-Columbian civilization, from which its name derives, and whose meaning is «Stone of eight cycles of time».

Also, this archaeological center has the oldest astronomical observatory in Mesoamerica, through which the Mayans were governed; and where it is believed there they perfected their writing and began to elaborate their calendar.

According to some writings, they indicate that Uaxactún was one of the last abandoned cities, during the collapse of the Late Classic (600 to 800 AD), where the Mayan territory had its greatest boom in agricultural production, an increase in population, and a maximum expansion of the archaeological complexes. (Shareer, 1999). However, like many other cities of the same era, they were abandoned and completely covered by the jungle.

Its name was given by the American archaeologist Sylvanus G. Morley; thanks to an inscription that he found when deciphering the vestiges in the hieroglyphs located in the same archaeological site; at the same time he suggested that Uaxactún was the oldest city of the Maya.

The archaeological zone of Uaxactún is part of a protected area, and at the same time, it is a Mayan Biosphere Reserve; since it is protected under the administration of the Tikal National Park.

Uaxactún has eight architectural groups, and they are named by literals from A to H, whose main buildings are oriented according to the cardinal points. However, one of the most valuable monuments were complexes A, B, E and H.

Buildings A and B feature impressive sculptured monuments; they reflect the inscriptions that alluded to their former rulers; B has 36 buildings; being one of the most emblematic the «Ball Game». In group E, there is the famous pyramid called Templo de los Mascarones that presents three phases of construction. It is adorned with large stucco masks, as decorative elements that symbolize monstrous beings of cosmogonic significance.

On the other hand, its name is due to the fact that said sanctuary has 16 large figures that symbolize a mixture of humans and tigers; and they are distributed in number of four for each side. Equallyin this same complex the observatory was built as a symbol of Mayan astronomical activity, specifically oriented to focus the movement of the stars. Building H was built as a central acropolis; It stood out for having several palaces and squares where important political and religious activities were carried out.

The archaeological zone of Uaxactún stands in the imposing tropical green, offering a formidable history full of mysteries, and deep memories for humanity.