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2013 Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico


Below are some pictures from Blades of Glory Expedition to Chichen Itza in August 2013.
Chichenitza (Step Pyramid) is quite famous as it is attuned to the Equinox (March & September). The shadows of the stairs on the pyramid make it seem like the feathered snake (Kukulcan - stone snake heads are at the base of the stairway) is slithering down the pyramid. Chichen Itza was created by the Mayans around 950 C.E.

 
 

Harry is standing in front of the pyramid. Two of the sides look like this one, with the stairs restored as it would have looked about 1,000 years ago. Montse is standing in front of the pyramid with how the stairs looked prior to restoration. Two of the sides still have the steps unfinished. If you clap in front of the pyramid, it creates a chirping sound with seven echoes. The acoustics are amazing. If someone spoke at the top of the pyramid with a normal voice, the people at the bottom of the pyramid could easily hear them.


 
 

You see the two (Kukulkan) snake heads at the bottom of the stairs. The other picture is of the recent excavation beside the pyramid. There are various views of what the excavation determined. Some state that they discovered a stone base that the pyramid is on, while others state that there is a cenote (a natural hole full of water - which the Mayans believed were entrances to the underworld) underneath the pyramid.


 
 

You see the entrance at the left of the pyramid. There is a smaller pyramid inside the pyramid you see. Every so often pyramids were constructed on top of the current pyramid. If you go to Templo Mayor in Mexico City you will see seven pyramids, built on top of each other. The other picture is a close up of the top of the pyramid.


 
 

This picture shows the famous Mayan Ball Game. You see a stone hoop on the wall, similar to a basketball hoop but turned sideways. There are various views as to how the game was played and what happened at the end of the game, someone was sacrificed (winning captain, losing captain or entire team). All agree though that it is a religious experience, reenacting a game of the twins that played against the gods in the underworld. The other picture is a relief of one of the ball game players.


 
 

This is the Observatory. Mayans, among other ancident civilizations, studied the stars very closely and very accurately. The Mayans, by way of their many calendars predicted the planets in alignment on the Winter solstice in 2012. The observatory was built to follow the trajectory of the planet Venus, Pleides, the Sun, the Moon and other Celestial events. The other picture shows the area around Chichen Itza. This is similar to what the area looked like prior to excavation. You see many mounds that are remnants of buildings not yet discovered.


 
 

You can see the relief of skulls on the side of a building. The other picture is of a Chacmool, a messenger to the gods. The beating heart, after it was taken out of a victim, or honoured volunteer, was placed on the stone dish that the Chacmool is holding by his stomach.


 

The 1,000 Columns of Chichen Itza (Temple of the Warriors) you can see the relief of skulls on the side of a building. The other picture is of a Chac Mol, a messenger to the gods. The beating heart, after it was taken out of a victim, or honoured volunteer, was placed on the stone dish that the Chac Mol is holding by his stomach.




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