Cobá is the name of a large lowland Maya city located between two large lakes in east central Quintana Roo, Mexico.
During its heyday (AD 550-850), the city supported a population of up to 55,000 people, within an area of approximately 70 square kilometers and approximately 20,000 buildings. Cobá was then the capital of the region, controlling an area of some 5,000-8,000 square kilometers.
The city of Coba was divided into districts connected by at least 35 causeways (called sacbeob). Sacbeobs also connected Cobá to other cities such as Ixil (19 kilometers from Cobá) and Yaxuna (100 km away). The main Cobá Group of buildings consists of a 24 meter high pyramid (called La Iglesia), a one hectare open plaza, a ball court, and stelae within an area of about 8 hectares.
Domestic compounds in Cobá are typical for lowland Maya cities, in which a low wall enclosed kitchens, houses, pens for domestic animals, an orchard, and a domestic altar and other buildings.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Cobá was first settled between about 100 BC and 100 AD, and it was more or less continuously occupied until the Spanish conquest about AD 1550. Population peaks occurred during the Late Classic (AD 550-730) and Terminal classic (AD 730-1100) periods.
Leyden, Barbara W., Mark Brenner, and Bruce H. Dahlin 1998 Cultural and Climatic History of Cobá, a Lowland Maya City in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Quaternary Research 49(1):111-122.
Manzanilla, Linda and Luis Barba 1990 The study of activities in Classic households: Two case studies from Coba and Teotihuacan. Ancient Mesoamerica 1:41-49.
Manzanilla, Linda. 2001. Coba (Quintana Roo, Mexico). Pp 160-161. In Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia, Susan Toby Evans and David L. Webster, eds. Garland Publishing, Inc. New York.