Third Group of Pictures of Chichen Itza in Mexico

The Chichen Itza Adventure

Group 3 Pictures

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El Castillo (The Castle)

This is the central pyramid of Chichen Itza. It has four stairways, one on each side, leading to the top. Each stairway has 91 steps. That is 364 steps in all and one platform on top. A total of 365- the number of days in a year. Is it coincidence or design? Serpent heads grace the bottom of the main stairway. The pyramid is oriented so that the serpents shadow "climbs" the pyramid on the day of the equinox. The equinox holds great significance for ancient cultures. It is the day when the balance shifts between days of more daylight and days of lesser daylight. Imagine if you knew that and didn't know why. Many ancient rituals were conducted in the hopes of making sure that longer daylight would indeed come and that the longer night would not grow and grow until there was no more day.

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The Inner Jaguar

El Castillo is not just "a" pyramid. It is a larger pyramid built on top of a smaller pyramid. Inside the second chamber of the inner pyramid sits this red jaguar. Flint teeth, jade eyes, and jade flecks decorate this creature. Tourists have been permitted to climb the inner pyramid. This practice is becoming increasingly controversial due to fear of damage that could occur to this ancient cat. (The jaguar is reproduced from "Monuments of Civilization- Maya" by Pierre Ivanoff published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1973.)

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The Madrid Codex

The codices or books that were found were named after the cities to which they were sent. This is a sample from the Madrid Codex. Imagine how difficult it must be to decipher such writings. (This sample of the codex is also reproduced from  "Monuments of Civilization- Maya" by Pierre Ivanoff published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1973.This book has marvelous photographs of major Mayan sites.)

cmadridcodex.jpg (94243 bytes)

 

Interesting and, in some cases, little known facts

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