Wonder of the Modern World
Discovering Mayan Secrets
Chichen Itza, one of the most important mayan cities, was founded around the year 500 and it is believed it was occupied for a period of thousand of years. You’ll be blown away if you have the chance to visit this marvel in Mexico, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World in 2007.
The city was a mighty civilization for many reasons, but perhaps the most relevant was the building of Kukulkan’s Temple. This breathtaking pyramid exposes the mayan knowledge in many fields, such as architecture, astronomy and mathematics. Take a journey with us and discover some of its secrets:
– It was created to worship the God Kukulkan, a very popular god among the cultures in mesoamerica; known as Quetzalcoatl by the Mexicas and as Coo Dzavui by the Mixtecas.
– Kukulkan’s temple was built on top of another temple that had a very similar look, although this one didn’t had any snake heads. The new temple is twice as big.
– It is actually a tridimensional calendar since it features 91 steps on each side and a top platform, putting them all together they are 365, just as the days in a year or Haab cycle. The 9 stairs on each corner and the 5 battlements on each facade correspond to the Tzolkin cycle. Both of these cycles fuse to make the mayan calendar wheel.
– The mayas demonstrated their astronomical knowledge when they built Kukulkan’s Temple: so accurate that during the sunset of the equinoxes of march and september the descent of the feathered snake, Kukulkan, can be appreciated on the NNE staircase.
– With the increase of tourists visiting the archaeological site another phenomenon was discovered: if you applaude in front of the staircases an echo is produced that simulates the sound of a quetzal bird.
– The temple, that was in ruins, was restored in 1928, however only two sides of the pyramid were reestablished with the surrounding remains found. It is believed that if the other two sides would be restored the assent of the feathered snake could be seen during the dawn of the equinoxes.