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HILLMAN CANCUN ADVENTURE 4

CHICHEN ITZA PYRAMIDS I
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Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities, with the relatively densely clustered architecture of the site core covering an area of at least 5 square kilometres. It was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from AD 600–900. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world. The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.4 million tourists visit the ruins every year.

Dominating the site is the Temple of Kukulkan (a Maya feathered serpent deity), usually referred to as El Castillo ("the castle"). This step pyramid stands about 30 metres high and consists of a series of nine square terraces, each approximately 2.57 metres high, with a 6-metre high temple upon the summit.

The sides of the pyramid are approximately 55.3 metres at the base and rise at an angle of 53°, although that varies slightly for each side. The four faces of the pyramid have protruding stairways that rise at an angle of 45°. The talud walls of each terrace slant at an angle of between 72° and 74°. At the base of the balustrades of the northeastern staircase are carved heads of a serpent.

Mesoamerican cultures periodically superimposed larger structures over older ones. The in the mid-'30s Mexican government authorized excavation and discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. Inside the temple chamber was a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of Jaguar, painted red and with spots made of inlaid jade. They excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramid’s stairway to the hidden temple.

Archaeologists have identified thirteen ballcourts. The Great Ball Court, measuring 168 by 70 metres about 150 metres is the largest and best preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. The parallel platforms flanking the main playing area are each 95 metres long. The walls of these platforms stand 8 metres high. Set high up in the centre of each of these walls are rings carved with intertwined feathered serpents. At the base of the high interior walls are slanted benches with sculpted panels of teams of ball players. In one panel, one of the players has been decapitated; the wound emits streams of blood in the form of wriggling snakes.

The Yucatán Peninsula is a limestone plain, with no rivers or streams. The region is pockmarked with natural sinkholes, called cenotes. There are two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of the two cenotes, the Sacred Cenote -- the Well of Sacrifice -- is the most famous. The pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Dredging of the well has recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery and incense, as well as human remains -- their wounds being consistent with human sacrifice.


ADDED REFERENCE: 
Large Chichen Itza Photos Identified


ON OUR WAY
Sights and Stops Along The Way

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ARRIVAL

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BACK TO CANCUN CONTENTS

CONTENTS
1. BLUE BAY I
2. BLUE BAY II
3. STRIP
4. PYRAMIDS I
5. PYRAMIDS II
6. PYRAMIDS III
7. ISLAND I
8. ISLAND II
9. TULUM I
10. TULUM II
11. TULUM III
12. TULUM IV
13. BLUE BAY III
14. OUTTAKES
TRAVEL
ADDED REFERENCE:
Large Chichen Itza Photos Identified


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