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Northern Lowlands

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altThe northern lowlands are represented by the flat, almost featureless, expanse of the Yucatan peninsula.

The only relief in the region is a low range of hills in Campeche that are known as the Puuc hills. The rest of the sub-region is relatively semi-arid with low scrub forests and no surface streams or rivers. Because of the soft, porous, limestone bedrock, the primary sources of water are found in cenotes – sinkholes where collapsed bedrock has exposed underground streams. It is along most of these geographical features that settlements in the north settled and thrived. Despite these limitations, the northern lowland people produced and exported most of the salt consumed by their neighbours to the south. Other important exports included marine shells, cotton for clothing and honey from domesticated bees.

The largest and best-known cities in the north include Edzna (Campeche), Uxmal, Kabah, Chichen Itza, Mayapan (Yucatan), Coba and Tulum (Quintana Roo).