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Iximché (Ee-sheem-cháy), capital city of the Kaqchikel (Cakchiquel) Maya from around 1470/1480 to 1524. In return for Kaqchikel support during the Conquest, the Spaniards made Iximché the first Spanish capital (Santiago) in the kingdom of Guatemala. However, Spanish abuses soon led the Kaqchikel to revolt, and the Spaniards abandoned Iximché in 1526.

According to Kaqchikel history, Iximché was founded by Huntoh and Vukubatz after the Kaqchikel broke with the neighboring K'iche'. This marked the end of K'iche' subjugation and the beginning of Kaqchikel expansion, during which they subjugated former K'iche' territory.

The site of Iximché is located near modern Tecpan, Guatemala, a town settled in the sixteenth century by former residents of Iximché. Iximché occupies a naturally defensible position, atop a plateau that is surrounded on three sides by deep ravines. The site is divided into a residential precinct and a civic precinct that consists of temples, palaces, ball courts, altars, and plazas. Some buildings in the civic zone were painted with murals. Archaeological investigations have been conducted periodically at Iximché since the early 1950s, and today portions of the civic precinct have been reconstructed.

See alsoKaqchikel .


George F. Guillemin, "Urbanism and Hierarchy at Iximché," in Social Process in Maya Prehistory, edited by Norman Hammond (1977).

John W. Fox, Quiché Conquest (1978), esp. pp. 176-187.

Additional Bibliography

Contreras R., J. Daniel, and Jorge Luján Muñoz. El "Memorial de Sololá" y los inicios de la colonización española en Guatemala. Guatemala: Academia de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala, 2004.

Nance, Charles Roger, Stephen L. Whittington, and Barbara E Jones-Borg. Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Iximche. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003.

                                           Janine Gasco