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Chichen Itza of Mexico

Chichen Itza is one of the most important and historic sites in the state of Yucatan  in Mexico. This mysterious architecture had political and geographical significance in the history of Mayan civilization. Chichen Itza is a Mayan word which means ‘at the mouth of the Itza well‘. This area is specially attributed to the Maya people who were very famous for their arithmetical calculations and tremendous understanding about astrology and solar system.  With the passage of time all the testimonial evidence about the skills and whereabouts of the Maya people has been destroyed although we can find some descendants of the then Yucatan community. But they hardly know about their glorious past history and civilization.

Nowadays we only see the splendid architectural remains of this unique civilization. According to the historians Chichen Itza was founded in the year 514 by the priest “Lakin Chan” who was also known Itzamna. Chichen Itza remained a center for massive commercial activities and as worth visited place for centuries until the arrival of Spaniards who became the reason of  the civil war that was lasted from 1196 till 1441 and it caused ultimately the total collapse of this civilization.

For the archaeological understanding the site of Chichen Itza  is divided into 3 parts. The Central group of the structures relate to the earlier buildings. Then it comes the Northern group (distinctly Toltec) and finally the Southern area which is famous for the ancient and separately located Chichen buildings.

Las Monjas Section at Chichen Itza, Photo : Mmbcross for Travel pod

In the central part the most notable place is the complex of Terminal Classic buildings which are built  in the Puuc architectural style. The complex is also known as Las Monjas which was actually a palace. El Caracol , the round structures are located in the north of Las Monjas which are known for  the stone spiral staircase inside. Akab Dzib which is in form of a house consisting of numerous chambers is located in the east of El Caracol.  It was actually  the residence of the administrator of Chichén Itzá, kokom Yahawal Cho’ K’ak’.

Pyramid of Kukulcan, Chichen Itza

 The Northern group has many exquisite structures. The Pyramid of Kukulcan (also known as The Castle) was a center for theological and astrological research. Every year two events were held in this place, the Spring Equinox and the Autumn Solstice. Inside the building the fabulous Chac Mool sculpture and the Jaguar Throne are also located.  This building was also known as the Temple of Kukulcan.  The remains of the Great Ball Court are located about 150 metres (490 ft) to the north-west of the Castillo which  was the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. The Tzompantli monument is in form of a low and flat platform which is magnificently carved.Then there is also a series of the Eagles and the Jaguars platforms which were constructed in both Maya and Toltec styles. The platform of Venus  is placed between El Castillo and the Cenote Sagrado. There are also other worth seen structures in this part like Temple of the tables , Temple of the warriors , Temple of the carved columns and plenty of others.

chacmool_chichen_itza

The Southern Group is a collection of structures which are located in the south of the central site. It includes the Initial Series Group, the Phallic Temple, the Platform of the Great Turtle, the Temple of the Owls, and the Temple of the Monkeys. These all structures are placed on a relatively distant place as compare to the Central and Northern parts.

No doubt Chichen Itza of Mexico is the greatest symbol of the ancient  Mayan and the Yucatán architecture. It’s marvelous stone monuments , amazing buildings and artistic works show the Maya and Toltec vision of the world. The wonderful refinement in the construction and the sculpted decorations reflect the delicate skills of the people belonging to this ancient civilization.

 

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