I was fascinate since little kid from this ancient people that build an amazing structures. Whole cities were build out of nothing in relatively fast period and with technique that still amaze us. Many of this buildings exist for more than 5 000 years. From the official history we know that people were not much developed in that time so that raise the doubt in official way of explaining the way of how they build such a amazing structures. I decide to leave comfort of my warm home and to go and investigate . First was Mayan structure city known as Chichen Itza, located on Yucatan Peninsula. Chichén Itzá is a world-famous complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. A massive step pyramid known as El Castillo dominates the 6.5-sq.-km. ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s. Graphic stone carvings survive at structures like the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the Wall of the Skulls. Nightly sound-and-light shows illuminate the buildings’ sophisticated geometry. So I start digging around internet and found few theories about this place. The Maya are probably the best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. Originating in the Yucatan around 2600 B.C., they rose to prominence around A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, northern Belize and western Honduras. Building on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations such as the Olmec, the Maya developed astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing. The Maya were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories, all built without metal tools. They were also skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya were equally skilled as weavers and potters, and cleared routes through jungles and swamps to foster extensive trade networks with distant peoples.
Around 300 B.C., the Maya adopted a hierarchical system of government with rule by nobles and kings. This civilization developed into highly structured kingdoms during the Classic period, A.D. 200-900. Their society consisted of many independent states, each with a rural farming community and large urban sites built around ceremonial centers. It started to decline around A.D. 900 when – for reasons which are still largely a mystery – the southern Maya abandoned their cities. When the northern Maya were integrated into the Toltec society by A.D. 1200, the Maya dynasty finally came to a close, although some peripheral centers continued to thrive until the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century.
Chichen Itza which means “at the mouth of the well of Itza “, is the 2nd most visited archeological site of Mexico today. The Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen-Itza which known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new seven wonders of the world elected in 07.07.2007. It is exactly 24 m. high considering the upper platform. Apart from the Kukulkan Pyramid, in Chichen Itza there many other archaeological sites to visit, all carrying traces from Mayan Culture in many ways.
After the abounding of the Mayan city was took over by Toltec civilization, they made this amazing place their own capital and still was centar of everything till Spaniards come and occupied that area in 16 century .The center of this city is amazing step pyramid Temple of Kukulcan or El Castillo the Spanish name of that structure. Pyramid was center of sacred ceremonies of the high priest and other cultural rituals. The Pok ta Pok was a solemn rite whose astral nature linked him
directly with the clash of opposites items universe, especially with the eternal struggle of light and darkness.So the players were transformed into light or dark beings as the sun, moon and stars.This game is a kind of oracle: everything is reduced to the movement of the ball, which from one side to another is beaten until one of the players makes a mistake and leaves drop the ball. In front of all the spectators player is beheaded and his sacrifice spell the end of the Sun and the destruction of the universe is looking for. This sport is similar to todays sports like football and rugby. This gave me a clue that sport today is also some kind of ritual beside regular understanding of modern people that spot today is business and pleasure .City is very well organize and align with some well known astrological things. They also have observatory called El Caracol where they observe all astronomical events such as solstices and eclipse. Of 29 possible astronomical events (eclipses, equinoxes, solstices, etc.) believed to be of interest to the Mesoamerican residents of Chichén Itzá, sight lines for 20 can be found in the structure. Since a portion of the tower resting on El Caracol has been lost, it is possible that the other measurements will never be ascertained to have been observed
FEW MORE FACTS FOR CHICHEN ITZA
- The land where the monument of Chichen Itza is located had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán.
- The site was not always named Chichen Itza; the Chilam Balam books indicates another, earlier name for this city.
- Researchers have had a difficult time defining the earlier name of this ancient Maya city; it is represented variously as Uuc Yabnal(“Seven Great House”), Uuc Hab Nal (“Seven Bushy Places”), Uucyabnal (“Seven Great Rulers”) or Uc Abnal(“Seven Lines of Abnal”).
- It is believed that Chichen Itza had a completely different style of government, as it was not governed by an individual ruler but rather by a “multepal” system.
- It was an incredibly powerful economic power in the Maya world, establishing trade routes as far as South America; even though some believe their trade routes even went beyond the American Continent.
- Chichen Itza rose to regional prominence by the end of the Early Classic period, about 600 AD.
- Archaeologists estimate that between 900 AD and 1050 AD, this ancient city expanded and became the regions capital controlling most parts of the Central and Northern Yucatan peninsula.
- The main part of Chchen Itza covered approximately 5 square kilometres; but scholars have found evidence that smaller settlements belonging to the city extend further out.
- The buildings of the city were connected by a dense network of paved causeways, called sacbeob which in translation means white road.
- The Puuc and Chenes styles are two of the construction styles that are located in the Chichen Itza layout; they originate from northern Yucatan.
- Researchers believe that Chichen Itza contributed to the fall of two of their allied cities; Yaxuna and Coba, who were already in decline.
- Hunac Ceel, ruler of Mayapan, conquered Chichen Itza in the 13th century.
- Archaeological evidence suggests that Chichen Itza declined as a regional center by 1250 CE.
- 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.
- Archaeologists estimate that the monument that was dedicated to the god Kukulcan was built by the Maya civilization between the 9th and 12th centuries CE.
- Sculptures of plumed serpents run down the sides of the northern balustrade of El castillo; During the Spring and autumn equinoxes sun strikes off the northwest corner of the monument casting a series of triangular shadows against the northwest balustrade; thus creating the illusion of a feathered serpent “crawling” down the pyramid. Millions of tourists gather to watch this phenomena.
- Each of the 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’ (The Haab’ was the Maya version of the 365-day calendar known to many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica.)
- The Ancient Maya were great athletes; Archaeologists have discovered thirteen ballcourts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza.
- The Ball court located to the north-west of the Pyramid “El Castillo” It is the largest and best preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica.
- Chichen Itza has a platform dedicated to the planet Venus located north of El Castillo.
- One of the most notable structures in Chichen Itza, apart of El Castillo, is a complex of Terminal Classic constructions built in the Puuc architectural style called: Las Monjas. Archaeologists suggest it was an governmental palace.
- The Osario is another Step Pyramid very similar to El Castillo, only smaller in size. At the center of Osario is an opening that leads to a natural cave.
- 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.
- 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, specifically around the path of Venus as it traverses the heavens.
- The Casa Colorada is one of the best preserved buildings at Chichen Itza that contains a Maya date inscribed correlating to 869 AD; making it one of the oldest such dates found in all of Chichen Itza.
- Even though Chichen Itza had collapsed by the time the Spanish Conquistadores arrived, it was not completely abandoned.