Posted by: Johan Normark | November 5, 2009

Caste War fortifications at Ichmul

The Cochuah region has not been a peaceful area. At Yo’okop we have evidence of several fortifications that may even date to separate events (such as the Terminal Classic abandonment and the later Postclassic reoccupation and abandonment of the site). However, the most commonly found traces of fortifications are much later. The Cochuah region was the centre of the Caste War and its aftermath (1847-1901). In 1847 Maya groups rebelled against the Creoles (Mexicans or Yucatecans of Spanish descent). The early successful campaigns by the mazehual (“Maya”) in 1847-1848 almost drove the Creoles out from the peninsula. However, these campaigns ultimately led to a series of setbacks and approximately 40 percent of the population of Yucatan died between 1846 and 1850.

Close to Yo’okop lies Fortin Yo’okop which has a four-bastion design. I’ll discuss it in another post. This is the only true fortification in the area since it appears to have been constructed for this single purpose. The fort lies at the very boundary between what was Spanish/Mexican controlled areas and “wilderness.”

34 Caste War

Caste War fortification at Ichmul

Smaller Caste War trincheras (not trenches, but low fortification walls) are found near Colonial/Early independence settlements in the region. The most impressive ones, apart from Fortin Yo’okop, are to be found at Ichmul which was one of the first cities under attack. The town was attacked on Christmas day in 1847. The town resisted 20 days of rebel attacks. In 2004, we mapped the western part of the Central Acropolis.  This portion of the acropolis contains several trincheras. The walls were either built during the 1847 attack or from when the federal militia recovered Ichmul in 1848. The Caste War largely depopulated the town. Ichmul was resettled again around 1900.



Central Acropolis at Ichmul

Central Acropolis at Ichmul



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