A Peek Into the Mayan Empire Through Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is Mayan for 'at the mouth of Itza'.

Chichen Itza was a city built by the Mayans in Yucatan State during the Terminal Classic Period. It is one of the most symbolic cities in the Mayan civilization seeing that it served as a focal point for the Northern Maya Lowlands.

The city is one of the largest in the whole of the Mayan territory and is likely one of the mystical cities or tollans that are referred to in the Mesoamerica literature and folklore. The city's different architectural styles indicate presence of diverse cultures which means it must have been cosmopolitan.

Archaeologists reckon that most of the monuments in the city were constructed between the 5th and 6th centuries. They depict similarities with the architectural styles found on the foothills of Puuc.

The Maya conquered a people known as the Toltec. Most of the attractions listed below showcase the fusion of the two cultures. The attractions include;

• The Caracol, a circular stellar observatory whose spiral staircase accounts for its name
• El Castillo- This is also known as the Temple of Kukulkan
• Terraces surrounding El Castillo
• The Great Ball Court
• Tzompantli or the Skull Wall
• The Jaguar Temple
• The House of Eagles
• The Temple of the Warriors
• The Group of the Thousand Columns
• The Market
• The Great Ball Court
• The Tomb of the High Priest

The city of Chichen Itza not only brings to fore the rich Mayan culture, but also how the conquered communities quickly adopted the ways of the conquering power. Have fun exploring this ancient city.

By Kennedy Runo about Yucatan

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