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Ancient Sites

Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico
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Ancient Sites

Ancient Sites

Cozumel’s name derives from the Mayan Kuzamil, or “Island of the Swallows”, so it isn’t surprising that there are many traces of the ancient Maya culture there (and artifacts of the even earlier Olmec culture have been found too). In fact, there are a total of ten known Maya sites, though not all of them are open to the public. The largest and most important of the sites that remains intact is San Gervasio, located in the middle of the island. It is dedicated to Ixchel, the Maya goddess of fertility and the moon. Archaeologists believe that at one time the entire island was a place of pilgrimage for women who came in search of Ixchel’s aid in having children.