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Ek Balam was important during the Late Classic period, specifically between 770 and 801 AD during the rulership of Ukit Kan Lek Tok, who founded the Tolol dynasty there.
Ek Balam is known best for a spectacular temple/tomb on the fourth level of Structure 1, which is also known as "The Acropolis" and as "La Torre". Because this temple was covered over with a fill of rubble and limestone soon after its construction, the temple and its stucco decorations were protected from the elements and preserved intact.
Because of the number of texts and glyphs that have been found in a good state of preservation, it is possible to learn something about the history and biography of the main actor, Dynastic Founder Ukit Kan Le'k Tok'. The texts found at Ek Balam rival the number and importance of texts from the whole of Late Classic northern Yucatan. As of 2002, there were about forty texts which have been documented even though only about half of the site had been explored.
Uxmal, Chichen Itza and Mayapan flourished contemporaneously with Ek Balam in the Late and Terminal Classic periods. These entities were far more powerful politically than Ek Balam, yet Ek Balam shows no traces of the Puuc or Toltec architectural styles of its more powerful neighbors. Ukit Kan Le'k Tok' arrived at Ek Balam as a stranger, presumably from the distant Chenes and Rio Bec cities far to the southwest. His architectural style connects back and references his presumed orgins in that area.