The name Uxmal means 'thrice-built' in Mayan, referring to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician. The Maya would often build a new temple over an existing one, and in this case five stages of construction have actually been found.
Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucat n peninsula, and at its height was home to about 25,000 Maya. Like the other Puuc sites, it flourished in the Late Classic period (around 600-900AD). Indications are that its rulers presided also over the nearby settlements in Kabah, Labn and Sayil, and there are several sacbeob connecting the sites. The area is known as the Ruta Puuc or Puuc route, from the nearby hills.