National Geographic : 1975 Dec
"City of dawn" to the ancient Maya, Tulum glows as the sun's first rays strike the east coast of Yucatan. In the 15th century Tulum over looked a vivid parade of commerce. Traders glided past in huge canoes laden with jade and feathers from Honduras, honey, wax, cotton, and salt from other parts of Yucatin. After the Spanish landed in 1517, they marveled at this and other great cities with their plazas, mar kets, temples, orchards, and maize plantations. But the invaders proved so destructive that in fifty years Tulum was all but abandoned. Even so, echoes of glory yet sound at the site. The sculptures and murals of the limestone temples sing praises to deities repeatedly re born out of the sea-the moon and the planet Venus. Another patron of renewal, the Corn God (above) carries the Maya glyph, or sign, for corn atop his head. Dr. Arthur G. Miller discovered the wall painting at nearby Tancah.