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Part 1/2

The name Chichén Itzá can be divided into three words. “Chi”, “Chén” and “Itzá” which respectively mean: Mouth, Well and
Itzá-people. Hence the mouth of the well of Itzá. The well referred to is the famous sacred well or Cenote sagrado.
See further on.
In Chichén Itzá 2 construction styles dominate. De Maya-Puuc-style (600-900 A.D.) and the Toltec construction style (900-1200 A.D.). Famous buildings such as El Castillo, Temple of the Warriors, and the ball game square are typical examples of Mexican influence. The result is therefore an unique fusion of Maya and Toltec art, and everywhere in the city are images of both Chac, the Maya rain god, and Quetzalcóatl, the feathered snake of the central highland (in Maya-city  the Kukulcán). Compared to the more romantic complexes such as Palenque and Uxmal, Chichén itzá offers almost a militaristic aspect. For a long time one thought that the Mayas were a peaceful people, but the wall paintings and steles with images of warriors, battlefields and human sacrifices give the lie to that conception. On the flat terrain, with grass overgrown stands more than 30 reconstructed buildings but in the jungle lie still hundreds of crumbled off buildings.


Templo de Kukulcán

The pyramid stands on an older temple and has been built around 800 A.D. Its 24 meters high and has 9 platforms The pyramid has 4 staircases. Each staircase counts 91 steps. 4 x 91 = 364. Plus the temple on the pyramid as a last step makes 365 steps, the days in 1 year.

Each side has 52 panels which present the cosmic cycle of 52 years. That was the moment that the religious and the worldly calendar coincided and, thus it was believed, on which the time finished started again.


Left: Stele




Beneath: Souvenir bought on the market at Chichén Itzá






Juego de pelota.
Or with other words, the ball game. It was played with a rubber ball between 3 and the 8 kilos. One has found also drawings that the ball was represented as a skull, or a rabbit. The ball had to be played through a ring. They had to move the ball without using their hands or feet. They let the ball bounce, and with shoulders and hips they had to try to get the ball through a ring attached to the wall. The original ball game had a religious and political meaning which is nowadays hardly known. It was a game between triumphing rulers and his defeated enemy, whereupon the loser was sacrificed and was rolled down, with tied up arms and legs, from the top of the pyramid to smash to death on the ground.


But it was no real contest. The triumphing ruler first starved his defeated enemy for a couple weeks and if he was then still fit he broke him his arm or a leg just before the game. This ritual game symbolized the victory of the light and life on evil and darkness and depicted the Creation of the world. This Happening has been described in hieroglyphs of the Mixtecs and in Maya-codics and also by people who have contemplated the game in the years shortly after the Spanish conquest.

Right: Ton applauds in its hands to let hear the echo between the walls. It seems you hear the echo 7 times bounce before it becomes extinct.


Drawings which decorate the ball game field.
They frequently portray the game itself.

I am still not sure what THIS is.




(skull platform)

One thinks that this is a stone platform that served as a pedestal for a rack on which the chopped heads of defeated enemies or the sacrificed enemies were exhibit.


The northern area of the province Yucatán exists of a plate of sediment lime. The problem of this is that the lime floor lets the water through, with the result that the surface water disappears immediately in the porous earth. But there where the lime plate has collapsed there are accesses to the groundwater, called cenote. See the photograph. The walls can be 10 up to 80 meters high. In principle they always contain water because they are continuously supplied underground water flows.
At the beginning of the 20th century archaeologist have stored a great part of the precious offerings, by diving on the bottom of this cenote. The cenote in Chichén Itzá is called Cenote de los Sacrificios. What one found were human skeletons, figurines of jade-stone and gold; further proof that Mayas believed in human sacrifices.
Jacques Cousteau have dove here also....a Oui...





Templo de los Guerreros.
By to use of pillars, large airy halls could be built. The pillars exist from piled up stone block-systems and the capitals have square plate. On top of the photo you see sitting a Chak Mo'ol.


Where am I. guess........




Vicky gives chapter and verse about Chichén Itzá.

¡VÁMONOS!  Forwards to part 2


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Tot nu toe betreft het een viertal vakanties: Suriname, Egypte, Peru, Bolivia en Mexico. Verder een kort fotoverslag van de zonsverduistering in 1999 te noord-frankrijk in de buurt van het plaatsje Spincourt. Er is een mogelijkheid om mijn gastenboek te tekenen. Deze homepage is ontworpen door Sander van Kuppevelt (sandervk).