Monday, May 01, 2006

Chichen Itza

While in Cancun we were able to visit some of the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. I'm so glad I did. The Maya people were simply amazing. It is believed that they built this city without the use of metal tools or beasts of burden. The Mayans also mapped out the heavens, developed calendrical systems, and developed hieroglyphic writing. Pictured below is El Castillo a pyramid that is based on a huge solar calendar. There are 91 steps on each side times 4 for each season plus one for the crowning platform equals 365 steps. 1 step for each day of the solar year.

Twice a year the sun hits the pyramid casting a shadow along the pyramids edge that appears to show a serpent climbing the pyramid in March and descending the pyramid in September.

Our guide also showed us that if you stand at the foot of the pyramid and clap the echo comes back to you as a piercing shriek. (believed by the Mayans to be an eagle) supposedly if a person were to stand at the top step of the pyramid and speak in a normal tone of voice it could be herd at ground level for some distance.

Iguanas also reside among the ruins.

Pictured below is believed to have been a throne.

Below is called El Caracol believed to be an Observatory. The observatory dome of windows aligned with major certain stars on specific dates.

Below is the Ball Field. Only very special people of honor were allowed to play on this field.

I'm not exactly sure how this game was played but our guide told us it involved passing a hard rubber ball through the scoring ring mounted on the wall. Supposedly once the game was won the winning team captain presented himself to the losing team captain and was decapitated by him. This was supposed to be a great honor and guaranteed him a place in heaven.

Below is a model of what the city may have looked like.

1 comment:

Shannon S said...

Great pictures! Looks like it was a wonderful vacation.