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Mexico Adventure Thread: Mayan Ruins

Hello!

My name is Robert R

I have recently joined Free Atlantis, but some of you know me from SQV where I wrote under the name @TearGasBreakfast or from Gab where I use the screen name @ILoveAmericaNews

Here is a thread to introduce myself.

My plan is for this thread to have 4 parts, 1 part each day for the next 4 days:

1. Chichén Itzá
2. Ek' Balam
3. Cobá
4. Tulum

This will be my first time posting most of these photos. Enjoy!

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Most of the historical material accompanying my Mayan photo journal comes from the Action Tour Guide: Mayan Ruins of Mexico Self-Guided Walking Tour Bundle

It cost $14.99, included all four ruins, and I found it to be an outstanding resource.

actiontourguide.com/place/maya

Tonight I will be starting with Chichén Itzá.

1. Selfie at the Temple of Kukulcán ("El Castillo")

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The Temple of Kukulcán at the center of Chichén Itzá was built to honor the Mayan snake God, Kukulcán.

It represents Snake Mountain, the place where Mayan's believed life first began.

Once a year, on winter solstice, the shadow of the setting sun creates an illusion of a snake's body connected to the dramatic heads at the base.

There are 2 snake columns in the upper temple. They represent the living cord between Mayan rulers and their Gods.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The pyramid is not a tomb, like the ones in Egypt, but a giant calendar.

There are 91 steps on each side of the pyramid combined with the platform on top to make 365.

It has 9 stages split by a staircase on each side to represent the 18 months of the Mayan Calendar.

Each side has 52 panels equal to the number of solar years in a Mayan Calendar cycle.

The temple is built over an older temple. Construction occurred between 600 AD and 1200 AD.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The ancient Mayans were masters of acoustics

If you stand in front of the stairs, and clap your hands, the echo mimics the chirping sound of the sacred Quetzal bird.

To the Mayans, the chirping echo meant the could hear their Gods.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Do you like sports? I loved sports until they all went woke!

So did the ancient Mayans.

Chichén Itzá contains 13 ball courts.

The Great Ball Court is the largest and best preserved in all of Mesoamerica.

It is shaped like the letter "I," and it is a little bigger than 2 football fields.

There are observation stands on both sides of the court, and a platform for the royalty at the far end from the pyramid.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The Mayan ball game was played with rubber balls that weighed around 20 lbs.

Players wore leather protective gear on the arms, legs, and hips.

The objective of the game was to launch the ball through stone rings mounted on both sides of the court without the use of your hands.

1. The rings are composed of intertwined serpents.
2. Royal Platform
3. The full length of the court
4. Snakes everywhere!

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Both sides of the ball court are decorated with intricate murals that were brightly painted in ancient times.

The murals depict the warrior class. Each Mayan warrior was adopted into either the jaguar or the eagle clan. (More later)

1. I think it's a fire-breathing skull with a mohawk. Yeah, they definitely had some powerful drugs.

2 & 3: Eagle and Jaguar warriors

4. If you look closely, you can see a kneeling warrior about to be beheaded.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Tzompantil: Wall of Skulls

There is a Toltec structure next to the ball court called the wall of skulls.

The heads of sacrificed Mayans were stacked on wooden posts on top of this platform.

Imagine how much that must have stunk in the hot weather of southern Mexico!

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The platform Eagles and Jaguars

This ceremonial platform is located on the main mall in between the Wall of Skulls and the platform of Venus.

Mayan warriors were separated into two orders whose jobs were to capture victims for sacrifice: the eagles and the jaguars.

The eagles used bows and range weapons. The Jaguars, who had higher status than the eagles, engaged the enemy hand to hand.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The Platform of Venus:

The Mayans called Venus Nohoch Ek' (Great Star) or Chak Ek' (Red Star)

Venus is the most peculiar "star" in the sky. It's extremely bright, and it moves in a different pattern than other stars.

The rise and fall of Venus in the night sky last 263 days roughly the same as human gestation. The Mayans put special significance on this fact.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

The Platform of Venus:

The Mayans believed in a version of the Trinity. They used a three part representation of God: human, feathered snake, and jaguar.

Notice the carving. It shows a human face, inside a jaguar's mouth. It also has eagle's wings and claws along with the forked tongue of a snake.

Chichen Itza is taking longer than I thought it would, and I'm getting tired.

I'm only around half way through. I'm going to stop for the night, and I will pick back up tomorrow.

That means I'll probably push back my schedule on the other ruins by one day each.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Check this out. I'm watching a lecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and they are analyzing the murals of the ball court.

They just described a portion of the picture I posted earlier. I thought it was a ball player waiting to be decapitated, but it's not.

It's someone whose head was just chopped off, and now snakes are springing from his neck hole.

WILD!

This is the lecture I mentioned in the most recent post in this thread.

"Great Wonders: Chichen Itza: An Alien City in the Maya Lowlands"

youtube.com/watch?v=Sj4HW8tS94

The Origins & Collapse of the Preclassic Maya in the Mirador Basin, Guatemala

"According to Richard Hansen, the concentration of large cities in the Mirador Basin in the Middle and Late Preclassic periods (circa 1000 B.C. to A.D. 150) led to the construction of the largest pyramids on the planet, the largest ancient Maya cities, the first 'freeway' system in the world and the first true state-level society in the Western Hemisphere."

youtube.com/watch?v=kE8BNer2H3

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

I always forget about my videos when I get into a groove while editing photos.

This clip shows the Wall of Skulls, the Platform of Eagles and Jaguars, and El Castillo in the background.

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

This clip gives a good look at one of the murals on the Platform the Eagles and Jaguars

Mayan Ruins: Chichén Itzá

Most people that visit Chichen Itza never see this part. I didn't on my first trip there.

The entire complex is built on top of a gigantic manmade plateau. This photo shows one of the few places it has been excavated.

The Mayans rebuilt the complex of Chichen Itza at least 3 times.

There is a scale model of the main complex built nearby. (photos later in thread)

Giza and Machu Picchu were built on top of massive terraformed projects too.

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@TearGasBreakfast

Equally fascinating is the presence of GRAND organs in churches of Europe even in little, inconsequential towns. There is a compelling theory that the organs weren't about God. They were about healing. Certain short duration low intensity resonance may heal by triggering dormant function, and long duration exposure can damage cells (and yes, I got this off Dr. Google). But the point remains the same. And we think we know everything.

@1031
That's fascinating. The ancients knew many things. We don't give them enough credit.

They were just as smart as us, and they had a lot less distractions than we do

The things they came up with were amazing!

@TearGasBreakfast

Isn't that the truth?

I have in my garden a plant called the Rue. I planted it because I liked its lovely blue green leaves. Only later did I learn that it has been used for HUNDREDS OF YEARS to cause abortions.

Abortion is not new. What is new is how far we've gone with it in light of what we know about fetal development at different stages. We have, in my view, lost our humanity the more we've learned about our humanity.

@TearGasBreakfast

That, my friend, is the most accurate observation I've seen recently. 100% concur.

The fact that their lives were much harder than ours meant that they had to use their skills ALL THE TIME.

We can do more since we use what our ancestors had already accomplished, not because we're any smarter.

Oh, and a fascinating and informative thread!

@1031 @icare4america @SkatyG @LoveAlmonds @Kindly_ol_doc @waronmorons @WarrenFahyAuthor @Haymoose @greyknight33 @Timtoolman @MissLane

@TearGasBreakfast

The Yucatan is one of my favorite destinations. I have not been to Chichén Itzá... yet. I have been to Tulum several times. My first visit there in 1980, you could climb to the top of the pyramid. Have photo... will have to scan and post. Love the energy there. We had plans to visit again at the end of May but the dh had shoulder surgery instead. Soon. Very soon. It's close to Texas. Just a hop, skip and a jump across the Gulf from here.

@SkatyG
I visited Tulum for the first time on this trip. I liked the city a lot. The ruins are also very different than others in the region.

I'm going to do a Tulum thread on Sunday I think.

@SkatyG
The little town near Tulum was great. There were so many outstanding, cheap restaurants.

I could live there.

@TearGasBreakfast

If you plan a tour with guests for a future trip... count me in!!!

Love your threads Robert. 🤩

@LoveAlmonds

I would actually love to do that someday in Egypt, but it's probably a few years off.

@Kindly_ol_doc
I can totally see the snakes now that the guy described them.

This is a really interesting lecture. He's describing the different eras when portions of Chichen Itza were built.

@TearGasBreakfast very cool thread!

P.S. - I'd watch the NFL if there was a chance some of the Eagles or Jaguars could be beheaded. We have much to learn from the Mayans.

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@TearGasBreakfast very fascinating. Need to watch this. I was at Macchu Picchu. This sort of reminds me me of the place

@Bakerfiend
There a certainly some common elements. I can't wait to see Machu Picchu someday. I was supposed to go this spring.

I found a ticket for $411 roundtrip, but I waited a couple of days to book it, because i was hesitant at dealing with Peru's Covid restrictions, and the price doubled.

That put the trip a little out of my budget for this year.

@TearGasBreakfast Robert, it was a complete S**t show when my llama/alpaca group went. Too crowded, disrespectful people, people throwing rocks at the alpacas. We were horrified. Our group went into the High Andes to help the Peruvian Indians with their llama herds and Macchu Picchu was a tour thingy before we came home. After being in bare accommodations, and living with the Indians simply, we were just horrified to see all the commercialism when the Indians can’t even get healthcare.

@Bakerfiend

Poverty is hard to see, isn't it?

I saw children eating out of garbage piles in Egypt, and it physically pained me.

It hurt my soul.

I sure am grateful I was born in America.

@LoveAlmonds

Blood had magical power to the Mayans, and the entire complex is dedicated to different versions of snakes.

The main temple is symbolic of Snake Mountain where life began in Mayan myth, and it is dedicate to snake God, Kukulcán.

There are snakes carved on every building.

My guess, and this is totally a guess, would be that the carving is symbolic of the blood sacrifice summoning the strength of the snake God.

Just a guess, but it makes sense to me.

@TearGasBreakfast

🐍 Snake gods and sacrifice 😬

If I had to be stuck back in time somewhere... it would not be during the Mayan era!

@LoveAlmonds

Up until the last 100 years or so, life royally sucked for the vast majority of humanity.

We are truly blessed to live in such a remarkable time.

@TearGasBreakfast

I bet you had fascinating dreams while on your travels... travelling through time and space...

You might have kept a writing journal?

@LoveAlmonds
I had some wild dreams in Egypt that I remember. That place blew my mind.

I don't recall any in Mexico, but I grew up near the Mexican border in California, and the culture isn't foreign to me like what I saw in Egypt.

@TearGasBreakfast I visited there in college, what an amazing place to witness.

@Haymoose

It is an amazing place, isn't it?

This was my second trip there. I also visited in 2004 before the top of the pyramid was closed to visitors.

I love Mexico. I don't know why I don't go more often. It's cheap. The food is outstanding, and the people are super nice.

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