Uxmal, Pyramid of the Magician

Uxmal: El Adivino [June 12, 2004]

The graceful elliptical shape and the different angles of inclination of the east and west staircases make the Pyramid of the Magician one of the most unusual in Mesoamerica. Light and shadow sweep around the curvilinear surface creating different impressions at various times of the day.

NOTE: The temple crowning El Adivino is an excellent illustration of what has been called "negative batter," a technique the ancient architect used to widen the walls of a building slightly as it rose in order to compensate for the effects of perspective. The goal was to make the building look perfectly rectangular to someone viewing it from ground level.