The Pyramid of the Magician (Mexico)

Uxmal's Imposing Pyramid of the Magician

The Pyramid of the Magician, also known as the House of the Dwarf (Casa del Adivino, or Casa del Enano), is one of the most famous Maya monuments of Uxmal, an archaeological site in the Puuc region of Yucatan, in the northern Maya Lowland of Mexico.

Its name comes from a Maya tale of the 19th century, titled the Leyenda del Enano de Uxmal (The Legend of the Uxmal’s Dwarf). According to this legend, a dwarf constructed the pyramid in one night, helped by his mother, a witch.

This building is one of the most impressive of Uxmal, measuring about 115 feet in height. It was constructed over the Late and Terminal Classic periods, between AD 600 and 1000, and five constructive phases have been detected. The one visible today is the latest one, built around AD 900-1000.

The pyramid, over which the actual temple stands, has a peculiar elliptical form.  Two staircases lead to the top of the pyramid. The Eastern staircase, the wider, has a small temple along the way that cut the stairway in half. The second access stair, the Western, faces the Nunnery Quadrangle and is decorated with friezes of the rain god Chaac.

The Pyramid of the Magician is the first building a visitor encounters entering the ceremonial area of Uxmal, just north of the Ball Game Court and the Palace of the Governor and east of the Nunnery Quadrangle.

Several phases of the temple constructed on top the pyramid are visible while ascending the pyramid from the base to the top.

Five construction phases have been detected (Temple I, II, III, IV, V). The facades of the different phases were decorated with stone masks of the rain god Chaac, typical of the Puuc architectural style of the region.


  • Mc Killop, Heather, 2004, The Ancient Maya. New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. Santa Barbara, California
  • AA.VV. 2006, Los Mayas. Rutas Arqueologicas: Yucatan y Quintana Roo. Edición Especial de Arqueologia Mexicana, num. 21 (
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Maestri, Nicoletta. "The Pyramid of the Magician (Mexico)." ThoughtCo, Jun. 28, 2017, Maestri, Nicoletta. (2017, June 28). The Pyramid of the Magician (Mexico). Retrieved from Maestri, Nicoletta. "The Pyramid of the Magician (Mexico)." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).