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The original name of the city is unknown. In 1937 the researcher Alberto Escalona Ramos named it Oxtankah, a place name that can have three interpretations: “in the middle of three towns”, “three neighborhoods” or “place surrounded by ramones”.

The core area of ​​the settlement comprised at least ten plazas and two sunken courtyards delimited by buildings, more than thirty isolated structures, and a cenote. The dominant architectural design of the structures is of the Petén style: overlapping bodies with sloping walls, with rounded and recessed corners, whose essential element is the molding called “apron”. To supply fresh water, they built wells and chultunes, where they collected rainwater.

It is the largest and most important pre-Hispanic city that has been discovered in the Chetumal Bay. The first Mayan groups established their residence in Oxtankah around 600 BC. C., remaining there until 1100 A.D. In this temporal space, three moments of high population density occurred: Late Preclassic (300-50 BC) Early Classic (250-600 AD) and Late-Terminal Classic (600-900 AD). The maximum prosperity of its socio-political system was reached during the Early Classic, when the Oxtankah ruling groups acted as rectors of the surrounding towns, reflecting their power even in architecture. At that time several buildings were noticeably enlarged, doubling their original proportions; the extension of the city exceeded the limits of the coast incorporating the island of Tamalcab.

Sailing was a common activity, so in canoes they crossed the channels of the region and crossed the Chetumal Bay to transit the Caribbean Sea from north to south, interacting with other coastal populations and participating in long-distance exchange systems. to obtain foreign marine and terrestrial products that they distributed to other communities settled inland. At the entrance of the Spanish, Oxtankah was about 400 years old.

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