Kayaking with the family.......
trying something new...
We spent one entire day at Chichen Itza. The name means water hole of the Itza tribe. The Mayan civilization had a population of over 12.5 million people and those who had water holes were the most powerful.
The main ruin is still under restoration but this side it complete. The Mayans were amazing mathematicians and astronomers....which is quite interesting since they didn't have telescopes. (Dean kept saying stuff about aliens.....)
Serpents going up meant it was a shrine and serpents going down meant it was a temple.
The serpent shadow ripples as the sun moves which makes it look like the serpent is moving....this is a temple. The serpents were going down.
if you stand in front of the temple and clap your hands, it will sound just like a bird call.....amazing!
here are some heads of the serpents....these were on the platform across from the Sun temple
.Here was a shrine. They call it the Shrine of 1,000 Pillars. They don't know what the pillars represent. It was creepy knowing that people were sacrificed here. They ate their hearts. (ewww)
the table where the person to be sacrificed was behind this....
Way across from the shrine and outside the stadium was this.....each stone was engraved with a skull.
There were over 1,000 skulls, each depicting a decapitated captain from the game. Historians argue over whether the victor or the loser actually lost their head. Since human sacrifice was an "honor," many argue that the victor was decapitated, not the loser.
Outside view of the stadium...entrance....
The stadium...you can see how large it is from this photo. Royalty would sit while everyone else would stand on the top of the walls.
See the small building at the end of the photo. It had a mirror image building on this side. If you stand in front of one end and shout, you can hear your voice clearly at the other end.
The hoop the ball went in to. If you ever saw the Disney movie "El Dorado," it will make you think of this stadium....I think they used it for inspiration. The ball was made of rubber and weighed roughly 9-12 pounds. They had hip belts....hands were not permitted. These hoops were on the tip top of the wall you see in the above photo!
On each side, the walls were decorated with engravings of the team......
Here is the water hole which the place is named for. A GORGEOUS and large sink hole of fresh water that goes down to 150 feet. They have found human remains. (another tidbit from the Disney flick....they called their's Shelbalba.....this sink hole is named something close to that.)
I opted not to go....the water was too cold for me and I wanted to take photos.......this place was beautiful!
the specks in the lower left photo are PEOPLE!
This was one excursion that we need to do again just to finish it. There was simply too much to cover in one visit. Our tour guide said we needed about 3 days to really see it all. After spending the day there, we all agreed he was right. We didn't get to do any poking around or looking at the minor ruins....just not enough time.