chichen-itza

The Ancient Mayan Site of Chichen Itza

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  • 30 Dec 2016
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The Maya are probably the best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. They were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple- pyramids, palaces, and observatories, all built without metal tools. Their ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza isn’t only one of the most visited places in Mexico but is also one of the world’s most interesting constructions.

Either you are about to visit this amazing vestige or you have been already here, you might find these highlights interesting.

The actual name “Chichen Itza” means “At the mouth of the well of the Itza.” The Itza are believed to have been an ethnic lineage group.

The buildings of the city were connected by a dense network of paved causeways, called sacbeob which in translation means white road.

El Castillo or also known as the Temple of Kukulcan; dominates the center of this ancient Maya city. El Castillo is a superimposed construction; it was built on top of another, much older temple.

el-castillo-kukulkan

Each of the main pyramid’s four sides has 91 steps. If you include the temple platform located top as the final “step” you will get a total of 365 steps which are equal to the number of days of the Haab’ year (The Haab’ was the Maya version of the 365-day calendar known to many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica).

El Caracol was one of the most important temples in Chichen Itza and it is one of the most unusual ones. Archaeologists believe it served as a proto-observatory with doors and windows aligned to astronomical events, and enable the tracking of the movement of Venus, the Pleiades, the sun and the moon and other celestial objects.

el-caracol-chichen-itza

The temple of the warriors is another amazing construction. The Temple of the Warriors complex includes a large stepped pyramid fronted and flanked by rows of carved columns that depict the Maya warriors.

The Ancient Maya were great athletes; Archaeologists have discovered thirteen ballcourts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza.

 

As you can see, Chichen Itza, this incredible complex, reveals much about the Maya vision of the universe. There is so much more to learn and to see when you visit this archaeological site. Check out our Cancun tours and discover the Mayan world.

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