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A study of ancient Mayan archaeological and paleontological sites throughout the Mexican state of Quintana Roo simply would not be complete without a thorough exploration of the ancient, ruined city of Coba. Estimated to have housed at least 50,000 people, though probably many, many more, Coba contains many large pyramids, including one called Nohoch Mul, the tallest at the site, standing at an imposing 42 meters high. Coba is said to have been an important trading city, having traded heavily with other communities, not just locally, along the Caribbean coast, but also by way of the ports of Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Tancah and Tulum.
The majority of Coba’s construction seems to have occurred between 500 and 900 AD, though the site seems to have been inhabited and maintained as late as the 14th century and possibly even up to the arrival of the Spanish. The site was never thoroughly explored until the early 1900’s, by amateur explorer Dr. Thomas Gann, and later by the Carnegie Institution. This late exploration was thanks to the Caste War of Yucatan which took place in the late 1800’s, preventing exploration at the time.
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