Mayan Pyramids on Yucatan Peninsula
Famous Ancient Landmark in South America
- Posted by admin on 7/23/2009 3:49:15 PM
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The Yucatan peninsula in the southeastern part of Mexico boasts one of the most remarkable ancient ruins in the world which reveals breath-taking and astonishing Mayan civilization. In this place, tourists can see several pyramids, including the most popular El Castillo del Serpiente Emplumado (Castle of the Plumed Serpent).
For tourists who want to have a glimpse of ancient civilization, they can visit the Mayan Pyramids located on the Yucatan peninsula on the southeastern part of Mexico.
Chichén-Itzá, which was built 1500 years ago, is the most famous and most studied Mayan pyramid in the peninsula. This site is divided into three structures which can be visited in a day.
Itinerary in Chichén-Itzá
Because the weather can be extremely hot and humid, the best time to visit the place is early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too hot. Also, tourists should realize that storms and strong rains are very common in the region, so it is important to know the weather forecast before visiting the site.
Among the pyramids in Chichén-Itzá, El Castillo del Serpiente Emplumado (Castle of the Plumed Serpent) is the best place to start the itinerary. As the central pyramid, this was important to the ancient habitants of the city.
In this pyramid, there are heads of serpents on the bottom of the foundation. According to archeologists, the serpent is a popular deity which has also been revered by several Meso-American cultures.
Meanwhile, it is possible for tourists to get inside the pyramid and walked into the narrow labyrinth. Inside the structure, they can walk into an enclosed staircase which leads to an altar called “chac mool” where the ancient Mayans put their offerings to the gods.
In the past decades, tourists were allowed to climb to the top of El Castillo pyramid. However, this has been prohibited to preserve the ancient structure and prevent damages caused by visitors.
Near the El Castillo pyramid, tourists can see a large ball court where ancient Mayan men played pok ta pok, a deadly game where the winner was beheaded as a sacrifice to the gods.
The game was composed of two teams with six players who would pass the ball using any part of their body except their hands. The aim is to pass the ball to the captain who will then shoot it inside a ring using a racket.
According to some anthropologists, the first captain who made the first successful shot will be decapitated to be offered to the deities. The Mayans believed that this is an honor and anyone who has scored the first point will go directly to heaven.