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Joyas del mundo maya

Informacin general Gracias por adquirir este cd-rom. Representa el esfuerzo de muchos aos de investigacin y bsqueda de respuestas a travs del Mundo Maya y es un homenaje a esta grandiosa civilizacin. Son sitios arqueolgicos visitables en su mayora localizados en Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belice y Mxico. Para visualizarlo solo necesita tener en su PC el sistema operativo de su preferencia y Windows media player para poder visualizar los videos y audio. Para mayor informacin de Cmo llegar? Estamos a sus rdenes en: joyasmayas2012@gmail.com Para mayor informacin respecto a sitios arqueolgicos: http://dti.inah.gob.mx/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=2878&Itemid=432 Para mayor informacin docente: www.famsi.org

Jewels of the maya world


Informacin general Thank your for purchasing this cd-rom. It represents the effort of many years of investigation and the search of answers through the mayalands and also intends to be a hommage to this great civilization. They are archaeological sites, most of them open to the public to visit, located in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and Mxico. To play it you only need to have on your PC the OS of your preference and Windows media player. For any further information and o find out How to make it there? contact us at: joyasmayas2012@gmail.com For more information about Mexican archaeological sites please check: http://dti.inah.gob.mx/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=2878&Itemid=432 For educational information: www.famsi.org

Bonampak
Espaol Sitio arqueolgico maya en el estado de Chiapas, Mxico, a unos 30 km al sur de la gran ciudad de Yaxchiln y de la frontera con Guatemala. Se trata de una pequea zona arqueolgica, que fue dependiente de Yaxchiln. Todas las estructuras del sitio parecen haber sido construidas entre los aos 580 y 800 dC. Se suele decir que la zona arqueolgica fue descubierta por Giles Healy y Carlos Frey en abril y mayo de 1946, quienes fueron informados por los indgenas lacandones,llegando varias veces a la zona cuando se dirigan a

realizar cultos en los edificios de la ciudad. Sin embargo, como en muchos otros casos, los indgenas ya conocan la localizacin del sitio, y el hallazgo se atribuye hoy a dos de ellos: Jos Pepe Chambor y Acasio Chan. En Bonampak existen varios edificios de mediano tamao, que circundan la plaza central, algunos de ellos poseen estelas muy bien labradas. Sin embargo, debe su fama a los murales que se localizan en uno de sus edificios conocido con el nombre de Templo de los Murales, aunque su nombre tcnico es Estructura 1. Se trata de un edificio con tres cuartos completamente pintados del Perodo Clsico, ya conocido por su cermica y otros ejemplos menores. En 1948, se realiz una expedicin de la Institucin Carnegie y del Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia. Las paredes fueron limpiadas con queroseno, que volvi temporalmente transparente el recubrimiento y las pinturas fueron fotografiadas extensivamente. Rplicas de los murales fueron realizadas por Agustn Villagra y Antonio Tejeda. En 1996 comenz el Proyecto de Documentacin de Bonampak (en ingls, The Bonampak Documentation Project), coordinado por un equipo de investigadores de la Universidad de Yale. Este proyecto incluye la realizacin de un estudio ms detallado, nuevo rescate fotogrfico y la reproduccin de los murales. Desde 1990 el proyecto La pintura mural prehispnica en Mxico del Instituto de Investigaciones Estticas de la Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, se dedica al registro y estudio de los murales precolombinos, como los de Bonampak, donde en 1997, Ernesto Pealoza como parte del trabajo de dicho proyecto fotografa por primera vez en su totalidad los tres cuartos pintados, con este material se realizaron los tres desplegados que muestran los murales completos. Estas imgenes y los resultados de las investigaciones multidisciplinarias dirigidas por Beatriz de la Fuente y coordinadas por Leticia Staines, forman parte de los dos tomos dedicados a Bonampak (catlogo y estudios) de la serie la pintura mural prehispnica en Mxico publicada por la UNAM. Las pinturas datan del ao 790 y fueron realizadas en una compleja tcnica donde sobre un enlucido fresco de cal se aplicaron los pigmentos en un medio de agua cal (lechada) mezclado con un aglutinante orgnico. Los murales muestran la mano de un maestro que trabaj en compaa de por lo menos dos ayudantes. Los tres cuartos muestran una serie de eventos de su actualidad con gran realismo. El primero representa una procesin de sacerdotes y nobles. Una orquesta toca trompetas de madera, tae tambores, y toca otros instrumentos; mientras los nobles charlan entre s. El segundo cuarto muestra una escena de guerra, con prisioneros a los que les son arrancadas la uas de los dedos de las manos, sentados ante el Seor Chaan Muan de Bonampak. Se presume que los prisioneros eran preparados para el sacrificio humano. El tercer cuarto muestra una ceremonia con bailarines ricamente ataviados y usando mscaras de dioses, y a la familia gobernante punzndose la lengua con agujas de maguey hasta hacerla sangrar, en uno de los muchos tipos de sacrificio que practicaban los mesoamericanos. La escena est acompaada por fechas numerales y los nombres de los participantes en la ceremonia. Mary Miller, profesora de la Universidad de Yale, quien dirige el extensivo estudio de los murales, escribi que "probablemente, ningn artefacto antiguo del Nuevo Mundo ofrece una compleja visin de la sociedad prehispnica como las pinturas de Bonampak. Ningn otro trabajo relacionado con los mayas nos

acerca a la vida de la corte con tan gran detalle, lo que hace de Bonampak y sus murales un recurso sin paralelo en la comprensin de la sociedad antigua." Fuente: Wikipedia

Bonampak
English Bonampak (Bonam Pak' Painted Wall in Modern Maya) is an ancient Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The site is approximately 30km (20 miles) south of the larger site of Yaxchilan, under which Bonampak was a dependency, and the border with Guatemala. While the site is not overly impressive in terms of spatial or architectural size, it is well-known for a number of murals, most especially those located within Structure 1 (The Temple of the Murals). The construction of the sites structures dates to the Early Classic period (ca. A.D. 580 to 800). Bonampak was rediscovered in 1946 by photographer Giles Healy, who was led to it by the local Lacandon Maya who still visited the site to pray in the ancient temples. The site, lying close to a tributary of the Usumacinta River, was first seen by non-Mayans in 1946 by two American travelers who were shown the ruins by the Lakandon Indians. Shortly thereafter a photographer, Giles Healey, was shown the huge painting covering the walls of one of the structure's three rooms. The paintings show the story of a single battle and its victorious outcome.[ What is often referred to as The Temple of the Murals (Structure 1) is a long narrow building with 3 rooms atop a low-stepped pyramid base. The interior walls preserve the finest examples of classic Maya painting, otherwise known only from pottery and occasional small faded fragments. Through a fortunate accident, rainwater seeped into the plaster of the roof in such a way as to cover the interior walls with a layer of slightly transparent calcium carbonate. Shortly after Healy's discovery the Carnegie Institution sent an expedition to Bonampak. The walls were painted with kerosene which made the layer over the paintings temporarily transparent, then the murals were extensively and completely photographed and duplicate paintings were made by two different artists. In 1996 a team from Yale University began The Bonampak Documentation Project, which included making an even more detailed study, photographic record, and reproductions of the murals. The paintings date from 790 and were made as frescos, with no seams in the plaster indicating that each room was painted in a single session during the short time that the plaster was moist. They show the hand of a master artist with a couple of competent assistants. The three rooms show a series of actual events with great realism. The first shows robing of priests and nobles, a ceremony to mark a child as a noble heir, an orchestra playing wooden trumpets, drums, and other instruments, and nobles conferring in discussion. The second room shows a war scene, with prisoners taken, and then the prisoners, with ritually bleeding fingers, seated before a richly-attired Chaan Muan, the Lord of Bonampak. It is usually presumed that the prisoners are being prepared for human sacrifice, though this is not actually shown in the murals. The third room shows a ceremony with dancers in fine costumes wearing masks of gods, and the ruler and his family stick needles into their

tongues in ritual bloodletting. The accompanying hieroglyphic text dates the scene and gives the names of the principal participants. The fresco painting technique used in Bonampak is a three step process. An outline was made in red over a coat of stucco and then the flat spaces were filled with paints from mineral origins. These paints took on the colors of blue, red, sepia , yellow, mauve, purple and green. The last step was to outline the figures in black. The finished product was beautiful and well proportioned. Stylized figures representing gods, dragons and other mythological creatures were accompanied by planetary hieroglyphs and chronological inscriptions. Professor Mary Miller of Yale, who conducted an extensive study of the murals, wrote "Perhaps no single artifact from the ancient New World offers as complex a view of Prehispanic society as do the Bonampak paintings. No other work features so many Maya engaged in the life of the court and rendered in such great detail, making the Bonampak murals an unparalleled resource for understanding ancient society." While tourists may visit Bonampak, it is a rather difficult and distant journey from anywhere else, and the murals are much less visible than in the photographs from the 1940s. No flash photography is allowed within the Temple of the Murals. Today a good idea of the murals can be gained by visiting the full-scale reproduction of the temple in the National Museum of Anthropology & History in Mexico City. Since the construction of the Border Highway by the Mexican government in the early 1990s, Bonampak is much more accessible to tourists. Source: Wikipedia

Caracol, Belice
Espaol Destaca como el sitio ms importante de Belice. Posee el templo ms grande del pas: "Caana" con aproximados 46 metros de altura, seguido solamente por el encontrado en el sitio arqueolgico de Benque Viejo, sitio tambin llamado Xunantunich. El emplazamiento de Caracol est integrado por cinco plazas, miles de estructuras y un observatorio astronmico. Se distingue como una ciudad de altares de gran tamao. Se han encontrado a la fecha, dieciocho en total, cada uno con glifos enormes.Al presente destaca la acrpolis central y dos campos de juego de pelota maya junto a los diversos vestigios estructurales. El valor de Caracol no reside solamente en su belleza, sino en su incomparable huella en la historia con rasgos poderosos que se manifestaran sobre Tikal y Naranjo. Sin duda Caracol jug un papel importante en la historia de las ciudades mayas y centros ceremoniales del Petn, en Guatemala, cambiando el balance de poder imperante. Su papel clave lo desempe inclinando la balanza a favor de Calakmul en su conflicto contra Tikal. Se evidencia una relacin inicial con Tikal sealada en la estela 14 con una ceremonia llevada a cabo bajo la tutela o apoyo de sta enorme ciudad del norte del Petn. Registros muestran que las relaciones con Tikal decayeron aos despus con

un evento poltico-social de gran envergadura, se sugiere la ejecucin de un personaje lite en Caracol. Poco despus se registra un enfrentamiento con Tikal con participacin de Calakmul. Los vestigios indican una alianza que sometiera al gobernante de Tikal Wak Chan K'awiil, quien aos antes, de cierta forma apoyara la toma de poder de Yajaw Te' K'inich II de Caracol. Este enfrentamiento acaece en el 562 y queda marcado en la historia como la derrota de Tikal. Caracol relata en la estela 21 la baja en el poder de Tikal y de Wak Chan K'awiil no se vuelve a encontrar mencin. El sitio arqueolgico de Caracol fue conocido por el mundo moderno hasta 1938. Se ubica en el rea de Chiquibul y se rodea de un ambiente selvtico natural. Se inici una seria investigacin en 1985 por la Universidad Central de Florida. Se calcula que su ocupacin poblacional alcanz los 200,000 habitantes. El complejo es enorme y se conforma por alrededor de 170 kilmetros cuadrados. Las estelas en el sitio describen la dinasta de gobernantes que rigieran la ciudad. Se especula que su nombre original es Oxhuitza. Caracol se encuentra a aproximados 24 kilmetros de distancia de Xunantunich (Benque Viejo), tambin en Belice, por lo que constituye por lo general parte del circuito turstico arqueolgico de la zona.

Caracol, Belize
English The ruins of Caracol are located in the Vaca Plateau of the Cayo District. Caracol Camp, adjacent to the ruins, is located at approximately Mile 46 of the Chiquibul Road which connects the Western Highway with the western slopes OF the Maya Mountains. Unfortunately, Caracol, meaning "Snail", is one of the most inaccessible ruins in Belize, but conversely, it provides one of the most scenic drives in Belize. You must obtain permission from the Department of Archaeology, as well as the Forestry Department in Augustine, in order to visit Caracol. Because of the limited accessibility and the necessity for permits, it is advisable to use a reputable travel and tour operator for your adventure. Currently in the state of excavation and restoration Caracol is the largest known Maya center in Belize. The largest pyramid in Caracol, "Canaa" (Sky Place), rises 140 feet high, and it is the tallest manmade structure in all of Belize. Since Caracol is located in the Chiquibul Rain Forest, there is a plethora of flora and fauna to enhance the true beauty of this magnificent Maya center. This is an enormous ceremonial center, perhaps the largest site in Belize. The site sits on a low plateau deep in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve where primary rain forest jungle is still evident. The tallest temple structure there stands 42 meters above the plaza floor with an expanse at its base rivalling anything at Tikal. Caracol was once a powerful center controlling a very large area, some of which is still being discovered. From the numerous carved monuments at the site, information has been gained that Caracol and Tikal underwent conflicts during ancient history with each succumbing to the other at different times. The name is Spanish for " snail shell" and was given to the site by a previous Commissioner of Archaeology because of the inordinate numbers of snail shells found at the site. Caracol can be reached through Augustine in the Mountain Pine Ridge. However, although this site is only 30 miles away from Augustine,

the road there is extremely rough and usually requires 4-wheel drive vehicles for the journey. Accomodations are available at the many "jungle inns" and hotels in and around the major towns of the Cayo District. The word is around that the site - discovered only in 1936 by chicleros- was supreme in the region, and indeed that is only a slight overstatement, for in 1986 an altar was found in the centre of one of the site's ball courts with a glyphic record of a military victory by Lord Water of Caracol over the warlords of Tikal. News too because USAID has provided funds to help develop the site for tourism. So Belize has indeed a site which, in the sixth century, rivalled the mightiest and most complex of them all. Why such a powerful site as Caracol should have been located in an area bereft of running water is one of the site's mysteries. Yet in a sense, the Maya created their own fertility: the main reservoir at Caracol is an engineering masterpiece providing water to this day and, again in the context of warlords and fertility, it is apropos to bear in mind the name of the supreme Caracol warlord - Lord Water. Caracol, the largest known ancient Maya site in Belize, is a Classic Period urban centre comprising a central ceremonial area converged on by causeways which linked the centre to its outliers -to the areas whose production supported the nucleus. The site centre is 1.5 sq. km. (.9 sq. mile) in area with structures extending out over 3 sq. km. (1.75 sq. miles). The tallest structure, standing 42m. (137 ft.) above the plaza level has ousted Xunantunich's A-6 as the tallest Maya building in Belize. The site's special features include the buildings surrounding the A court, which functioned during the Early Classic as an astronomical observatory. Following a now familiar pattern, many of the site's pyramids were constructed in the Early Classic, and later surmounted by further and hence ever more impressive structures. Interestingly, one of the burials -in the Machete group, and dated 613 A.D.- was desecrated by the Late Classic Maya and then re-buried. Archaeological Work A.H. Anderson explored and named the site- Caracol, Spanish for "Snail Shell"in 1938. In 1950, 1951 and 1953 Linton Satterthwaite of Pennsylvania University excavated primarily to recover the numerous sculpted stone monuments at the site. In 1954 Anderson, and Gordon Willey, William Bullard and John Glass of the Peabody Museum of Harvard, and Michael Stewart and Charles Wright excavated a masonry chamber in structure B-2. In 1977 Pennsylvania University Museum sent Carl Beetz to complete the volume started by Satterthwaite (now deceased) on the Caracol monuments. In 1978 Elizabeth Graham sent a team to the site to recover Stela 21, a beautifully sculpted slate monument currently curated by the Department of Archaeology in Belmopan. The three finest monuments from Satterthwaite's excavations are now displayed in the Bliss Institute, Belize City; many more remain at the site. In 1978 and 1979 Paul Healy of Trent University investigated the Maya agricultural terraces surrounding the site. In 1985 Arlen and Diane Chase of the University of Central Florida began the first full-scale excavation of Caracol; that excavation, which they anticipate

will take at least a decade, will focus on all aspects of Maya society and culture and especially on the importance of Caracol as a regional centre. Locale and Access Caracol is situated 36 km., as the crow flies, southwest of the Augustine Forestry Station in the Mountain Pine Ridge. As part of the Chiquibul Forest, it displays classic rain forest and jungle vegetation, the natural home of a wide variety of fauna, ranging from colonies of butterflies to families of howler monkeys and a diversity of birds and felines. Gigantic trees with trunks 2 metres in diameter are adorned with orchids and a plethora of interwoven vines. The forest canopy, trapping the humid air beneath, is broken only by the summits of the ancient man-made structures. Eight miles south of Caracol are the vast Chiquibul Caves, the longest cave system in Central America with the largest cave room in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest cave room in the world. Only the lucky few have entered Chiquibul. To reach Caracol one must travel through the Mountain Pine Ridge, superb in itself, with granite and limestone mountains, waterfalls, pools and wildlife. At the site there are caretaker-guides; a guide book with fold-out map is available on sale from them. But no drinking water is available at the site, nor is there any public transport to the locale. Your options are renting a vehicle or joining a guided tour offered by travel agencies and hotels around the country. Although the site is only thirty miles from Augustine, the road is extremely rough and often impassable during wet weather. Four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are usually required for the journey. Please note that it is imperative for the Department of Archaeology and/or the Forestry Department, Western Division, to be informed prior to any visits in order to obtain entry permission and advice on accessibility. There is no gas available at Augustine and visitors are responsible for ensuring they have enough gas to complete the journey. Camping is only allowed with a permit from the Forestry Department in Belmopan

Joya de Cern, El Salvador


Espaol Situado en las proximidades de San Juan Opico y Las Flores en el departamento de La Libertad en el centro-oeste de El Salvador. Fue habitado por un pueblo agrcola, y despus abandonado en el ao 250 por causa de la erupcin del lago de Ilopango; y de nuevo habitado en el ao 400, siendo tributario a San Andrs. Este lugar permite conocer la vida cotidiana de un pueblo maya agricultor de hace 1400 aos (siglo VII), y el nico conocido en El Salvador. Es uno de los sitios arqueolgicos ms importantes dentro de Mesoamrica porque demuestra cmo era la vida para la gente normal. Se refiere a menudo como "La Pompeya de Las Amricas" en comparacin al sitio arqueolgico de Pompeya, localizado en Italia. Las casas de los pobladores de Joya de Cren estn formadas por 3 estructuras separadas: los dormitorios, la cocina (en donde se han desenterrado cuchillas, piedras de moler, vasijas con restos de comida (frijoles, cacao y chiles), platos de barro, entre otros) y la bodega; y pueden tener una cuarta estructura (ya sea: taller, temazcal, etc). Las casas

tenan sus terrenos de cultivo y en algunos casos estaban limitadas por un cerco de madera. Las estructuras religiosas son la estructura 10 (con funcin posiblemente religiosa como una cofrada) y la estructura 12 (la casa del shaman o lder religioso del sitio). Las estructuras polticas son: la estructura 3 (la estructura ms grande de Joya de Cern) que est unida a travs de una plaza con la estructura 13. Alrededor del ao 250 la grandes partes de la zona central y oeste de El Salvador fue soterrada bajo densas capas de ceniza provenientes del volcn Ilopango. El rea fue abandonada y la evolucin cultural del perodo preclsico tardo maya fue interrumpida por muchos siglos hasta que la ceniza se convirti en suelo frtil. El reestablecimiento no comenz sino hasta alrededor del ao 400. El asentamiento de Joya de Cern fue fundado antes de finalizar el siglo VI. No mucho despus, alrededor del ao 600, Joya de Cern fue destruida por la erupcin de Loma Caldera, situado a menos de 1 km del asentamiento. Aunque la erupcin afect solamente unos 5 km, sta enterr la aldea bajo 14 capas de ceniza la cual cay en varias oleadas a temperaturas que oscilaban entre 100 y 500 celsius,2 protegindola contra los elementos. Se cree que los aldeanos lograron huir a tiempo, porque no se ha encontrado ningn cuerpo. Dejando atrs los utensilios, cermica, y alimentos. El sitio fue descubierto en 1976 cuando se preparaba el terreno para construir silos para el Instituto Regulador de Abastecimientos (I.R.A.). Se realiz el primer anlisis en 1978 y 1980 por el Dr. Payson Sheets, profesor de antropologa de la Universidad de Colorado en Boulder, Estados Unidos. Los trabajos de excavacin fueron interrumpidos por la Guerra Civil de El Salvador pero fueron retomados en 1989 hasta 1996. Se han excavado 10 estructuras, habiendo otras ms an soterradas. An se desconocen los lmites del sitio, pues en la actualidad se continua la prospeccin arqueolgica. Joya de Cern fue declarada Patrimonio de la humanidad por la Unesco en 1993. El nuevo poblado de Joya de Cern, situado a menos de un kilmetro de distancia de las estructuras descubiertas, est conformado en su mayora por campesinos que cultivan sus propias parcelas, utilizando casi las mismas tcnicas rudimentarias de los antiguos habitantes del destruido pueblo de Joya de Cern. En la actualidad dichos habitantes se han convertido en grandes colaboradores de las excavaciones y en la conservacin del sitio. A pesar de ser un sitio arqueolgico declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco en el ao de 1993, Joya de Cern tiene mltiples problemas para su conservacin. Las estructuras al ser de tierra compactada, pierden y ganan humedad fcilmente por capilaridad dentro de stas. La prdida y aumento de agua debilita paulatinamente las estructuras debido a la aparicin de sales minerales y micro flora como musgos y lquenes o macroflora como helechos. Al estar todava rodeadas por las cenizas del volcn Laguna Caldera, y cubiertas por un techo de lmina, la cantidad de humedad que se genera es enorme, especialmente a pleno medio da. Otras acciones como la erosin elica desgasta las estructuras. Desde mediados de los aos 1990 del siglo XX, se comenz a elaborar un plan de manejo entre CONCULTURA y el Getty Conservation Institute de Los ngeles. Este plan determina, por etapas, la mejor manera de conservar el sitio, desafortunadamente muchas de las etapas conllevan una enorme inversin econmica que sobrepasa el presupuesto dado por CONCULTURA a la ONG FUNDAR.

Fuente: Wikipedia

Joya de Cern, El Salvador


English Joya de Cern (Jewel of Cern in the Spanish language) is an archaeological site in El Salvador featuring a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash. It is often referred to as the "Pompeii of the Americas" in comparison to the famous Ancient Roman ruins. A small farming community inhabited as early as 900 BC, Cern was on the southeast edge of the Maya cultural area. Cern was evacuated in AD 250 due to the eruption of the Ilopango volcano but was repopulated no earlier than the year 400 and was, at the time of its final evacuation, a tributary to nearby San Andrs. Around the year 590, Loma Caldera, another nearby volcano, erupted and buried the village under 14 layers of ash. The villagers were apparently able to flee in time no bodies have been found although they left behind utensils, ceramics, furniture, and even half-eaten food in their haste to escape. The site was discovered in 1976 by Payson Sheets, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since then the excavation process has continued. About 70 buildings have been uncovered. Even more important than the buildings, however, are the paleoethnobotanical remains. The low temperature of the wet ash from Loma Caldera, as well as its rapid fall, ensured the preservation of much of the plant material. Of great importance is the discovery of manioc fields, the first time manioc cultivation had been found at a New World archaeological site.[3] Although the manioc had long since decomposed, researchers created plaster casts by filling the resulting hollows in the ash. The farmers had planted the manioc "just hours" before the eruption.[4] Cern was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Source: Wikipedia

Chichen Itza, Yucatn, Mexico

Espaol Chichn Itz es uno de los principales sitios arqueolgicos vestigio de una de las civilizaciones prehispnicas ms importantes: la cultura maya. Aunque al pertenecer a la poca de declive de la misma no se puede considerar como uno de sus mximos exponentes (por ejemplo no hay muestras de escritura maya en Chichn Itz y la arquitectura es ms propia del valle de Mxico que de la cultura maya). Se localiza en Yucatn, Mxico. Su nombre deriva de las palabras mayas: Chi (Boca), Chen (Pozo) e Itz (itzes significa brujos de agua), al unir las palabras se obtiene la boca del pozo de los Itz . "En la orilla del Pozo de los brujos de agua" o bien Chichn Itz Huasteco Ch'iich'en (en estado/apariencia de pjaro), Huasteco Itzam' (Serpiente) Serpiente Emplumada es el nombre del que fue uno de los principales asentamientos de los mayas durante el perodo Posclsico en la Pennsula de Yucatn. Se localiza al sureste de Mrida, capital del estado mexicano de Yucatn. El yacimiento arqueolgico de Chichn Itz es patrimonio de la nacin mexicana. El mantenimiento de los monumentos y la administracin de la zona son facultad del Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia (INAH). A pesar de ello, los terrenos que ocupa la zona arqueolgica son propiedad privada, como muchos de los monumentos considerados patrimonio nacional en Mxico. El Templo de los Guerreros, El Observatorio, El Cenote Sagrado, El Juego de Pelota, son slo parte de la grandeza de esta civilizacin y antigua metrpoli Maya.. El 7 de julio de 2007, fue reconocida como una de las Nuevas Siete Maravillas del Mundo, por una iniciativa privada Chichn Itz fue fundada por los Chanes de Bacalar (llamados despus Itzes) hacia el ao 525 DC, durante "la primera bajada o bajada pequea del oriente que refieren las crnicas". Se ha discutido esta nocin de la fundacin de Chichn-Itz por los Chanes, ya que hay autores que en un pasado se la atribuyeron a los Xiues. Sin embargo, prevaleci la corriente que considera a estos ltimos como extranjeros en Yucatn, es decir invasores, de donde se explica su condicin de tenaces adversarios de los Itzes descendientes de los Chanes, y de los Cocomes, descendientes a su vez de los Itzes. Habiendo establecido los Chanes la capital de su gobierno en Chichn Itz precisamente en la poca sealada, provenientes de Bacalar, continuaron su trayecto de oriente a poniente en la pennsula de Yucatn, al cabo del cual fundaran tambin otras ciudades importantes como Ek balam, Izamal, Motul, y T-h, la actual Mrida de Yucatn y Champotn. Ya hacia el final del Clsico tardo (600-900 d. C. siglo IX) , Chichn se convirti en uno de los ms importantes centros polticos de las tierras bajas del Mayab. Para el principio del Posclsico (desde el ao 900 hasta el 1527), la ciudad se haba consolidado como principal centro de poder en la pennsula yucateca. Las edificaciones de Chichn Itz muestran un gran nmero de elementos arquitectnicos e iconogrficos que algunos historiadores han querido llamar mexicanizados mezclados con reminiscencias del estilo Puuc de la arquitectura clsica maya. La presencia de estos elementos procedentes de las culturas del Altiplano Central fueron concebidas hasta hace algunos aos como producto de una migracin masiva o conquista de la ciudad maya por parte de grupos toltecas. Sin embargo, estudios ms recientes sugieren que pudieron haber sido la expresin cultural de un sistema

poltico muy extendido y prestigioso durante el Posclsico temprano en toda Mesoamrica. De acuerdo con la evidencia disponible, es posible que muchas de las construcciones principales de la ciudad fueran incendiadas hacia el final del siglo XIII. Por lo tanto, se puede decir que el declive de Chichn Itz se dio en un contexto de violencia, que conllev a la prdida de la hegemona en el Mayab. En el ao 987 d.C. se form la Liga de Mayapn, que fue una unin de casas sacerdotales de la pennsula, entre las ms importantes, estaban: Uxmal, Mayapn y Chichn Itz, sin embargo esta liga fue destruida debido a la declaracin de guerra realizada por Hunac Ceel, quin se proclam Halach Uinik de Mayapn, originando as la huda de los itzes al Petn guatemalteco en el ao 1194 d.C. Guerreros, sacerdotes y comerciantes constituan la lite gobernante en Chichn Itz. Introdujeron el culto al dios Kukulcn, el equivalente al Quetzalcatl (serpiente emplumada) del Altiplano. Levantaron construcciones con taludes y muros verticales y representaciones del dios pjaro-serpiente. El militarismo fue el fundamento indudable de esta cultura. Esto se hace evidente en el monumento llamado Plataforma de las Calaveras donde exhiban, clavados en estacas, los crneos de cientos de enemigos. Hacia el ao 325, la ciudad, que en un principio fue un pequeo poblado de chozas, madera y paja, floreci y sus habitantes comenzaron a erigir edificaciones monumentales cerca del cenote llamado Xtoloc. Al parecer, creci de manera dispersa en los primeros tiempos, para posteriormente ser diseada cuidadosamente dejando grandes espacios entre los templos. Las distancias entre los edificios se cubran de amplias calzadas o vas principales, elevadas sobre el suelo, llamadas Sacbs (caminos blancos, en maya). Los monumentales edificios de la Gran Explanada de Chichn Itz estn presididos por la Pirmide de Kukulcn, uno de los edificios ms altos y notables de la arquitectura maya. Es una pirmide de cuatro lados que culmina en un templo rectangular. Se asienta sobre una plataforma rectangular de 55.5 metros de ancho y tiene una altura de 24 metros. Cada lado de la pirmide tiene una gran escalinata que conduce al templo superior. Balaustradas de piedra flanquean cada escalera, y en la base de la escalinata norte se asientan dos colosales cabezas de serpientes emplumadas, efigies del dios Kukulcn. El Templo de Kukulcn o Pirmide de Kukulcn, es conocido tambin por el nombre El Castillo, trmino que utilizaron los espaoles en el siglo XVI, buscando alguna similitud arquitectnica conocida en el continente europeo. El actual templo fue construido en el siglo XII d. C., por los mayas itzes en la antigua ciudad de Chichn Itz, en el territorio perteneciente al estado mexicano de Yucatn. Su diseo tiene una forma geomtrica piramidal, cuenta con nueve niveles o basamentos, cuatro fachadas principales cada una con una escalinata central, y una plataforma superior rematada por un templete. En esta construccin se rindi culto al dios maya Kukulcn (idioma maya: Serpiente Emplumada )?, razn por la cual se pueden apreciar motivos serpentinos en la decoracin arquitectnica. Por otra parte tambin cuenta con simbolismos que hacen alusin a los nmeros ms importantes utilizados en el calendario Haab (calendario solar agrcola), el calendario Tzolkin (calendario sagrado) y la rueda calendrica. La alineacin de la construccin de la pirmide permite que se puedan observar diversos fenmenos de luz y sombra, los

cuales se producen en su propio cuerpo durante los equinoccios y solsticios cada ao. En el siglo XVI el conquistador espaol Francisco de Montejo y el franciscano Diego de Landa realizaron las primeras visitas a la zona y dieron cuenta de la existencia de la ciudad. En 1840 John Lloyd Stephens y Frederick Catherwood visitaron la zona arqueolgica de Chichn Itz, en ese tiempo el rea se encontraba dentro de la hacienda del mismo nombre que perteneca a Juan Sosa. En 1894, el mayista Edward Herbert Thompson adquiri la Hacienda de Chichn-Itz, realiz algunos estudios en la zona, en especial dentro del cenote sagrado, al mismo tiempo saque objetos encontrados en sus exploraciones que envi al Museo de Arqueologa y Etnologa afiliado a la Universidad de Harvard (Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology ), posteriormente y debido a la peticin del gobierno mexicano, los objetos fueron devueltos. Al morir Thompson en 1935 la propiedad pas a sus herederos. En 1988, la Organizacin de las Naciones Unidas para la Educacin, la Ciencia y la Culturizacin (Unesco), declar a la ciudad maya de Chichn Itz como Patrimonio de la Humanidad. Casi 20 aos despus, el cineasta suizo Bernard Weber convoc por medio de la New Open World Corporation sin el apoyo de la Unesco, pero con el reconocimiento de millones de votantes alrededor del mundo, una eleccin mundial, para elegir a las Nuevas maravillas del mundo, la ciudad maya result ganadora y desde el 7 de julio de 2007 fue declarada como una de las Nuevas 7 maravillas del mundo contemporneo. La Pirmide de Kukulcn es una de las principales estructuras del lugar. Fuente: Wikipedia

Chichen Itza, Yucatn, Mexico


English The Maya name "Chich'en Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge", and ch'e'en, meaning "well." Itz is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance of the northern peninsula. The name is believed to derive from the Maya itz, meaning "magic," and (h), meaning "water." Itz in Spanish is often translated as " a more precise translation as Magicians of Water. The name is often represented as Chichn Itz in Spanish and when translated into other languages from Spanish to show that both parts of the name are stressed on their final syllables. Other references prefer to employ a more rigorous orthography in which the word is written according to Maya language, using Chich'en Itz IPA: [titen its]. This form preserves the phonemic distinction between [ ch' ] and [ ch ], since the base word ch'e'en (which, however, does have a neutral tone vowel "e" in Maya and is not accented or stressed in Maya) begins with a glottalized affricate. The word

"Itz'" has a high rise final "a" that is followed by a glottal stop (indicated by the apostrophe). There is evidence in the Books of the Chilam Balams that there was another, earlier name for this city prior to the arrival of the Itza hegemony in northern Yucatn. This name is difficult to define because of the absence of a single standard of orthography, but it is represented variously as Uuc Yabnal, Uuc Hab Nal,or Uc Abnal. While most sources agree the first word means seven, there is considerable debate as to the correct translation of the rest. Among the translations suggested are Seven Bushes, Seven Great Houses, or Seven Lines of Abnal. Northern Yucatn is arid, and the interior has no above-ground rivers. There are two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of the two cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the more famous. According to postConquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery, and incense, as well as human remains. A recent study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice. Chichen Itza rose to regional prominence towards the end of the Early Classic period (or, roughly 600 AD). It was, however, towards the end of the Late Classic and into the early part of the Terminal Classic that the site became a major regional capital, centralizing and dominating political, sociocultural, economic, and ideological life in the northern Maya lowlands. The ascension of Chichen Itza roughly correlates with the decline and fragmentation of the major centers of the southern Maya lowlands, such as Tikal. Some ethnohistoric sources claim that in about 987 a Toltec king named Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl arrived here with an army from central Mexico, and (with local Maya allies) made Chichen Itza his capital, and a second Tula. The art and architecture from this period shows an interesting mix of Maya and Toltec styles. However, the recent re-dating of Chichen Itza's decline (see below) indicates that Chichen Itza is largely a Late/Terminal Classic site, while Tula remains an Early Postclassic site (thus reversing the direction of possible influence). Several archaeologists in late 1980s suggested that unlike previous Maya polities of the Early Classic, Chichen Itza may not have been governed by an individual ruler or a single dynastic lineage. Instead, the citys political organization could have been structured by a " multepal" system, which is characterized as rulership through council composed of members of elite ruling lineages. This theory was popular in the 1990s, but in recent years, the research that supported the concept of the "multepal" system has been called into question, if not discredited. The current belief trend in Maya scholarship is toward the more traditional model of the Maya kingdoms of the Classic southern lowlands.

Chichen Itza was a major economic power in the northern Maya lowlands during its apogee. Participating in the water-borne circum-peninsular trade route through its port site of Isla Cerritos, Chichen Itza was able to obtain locally unavailable resources from distant areas such as central Mexico (obsidian) and southern Central America (gold). According to Maya chronicles (e.g., the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel), Hunac Ceel, ruler of Mayapan, conquered Chichen Itza in the 13th century. Hunac Ceel supposedly prophecized his own rise to power. According to custom at the time, individuals thrown into the Cenote Sagrado were believed to have the power of prophecy if they survived. During one such ceremony, the chronicles state, there were no survivors, so Hunac Ceel leaped into the Cenote Sagrado, and when removed, prophecized his own ascension. While there is some archaeological evidence that indicates Chichn Itz was at one time looted and sacked,[11] there appears to be greater evidence that it could not have been by Mayapan, at least not when Chichn Itz was an active urban center. Archaeological data now indicates that Chichen Itza fell by around AD 1000, some two centuries before the rise of Mayapan. Ongoing research at the site of Mayapan may help resolve this chronological conundrum. While Chichn Itz collapsed (meaning elite activities ceased and the site rapidly depopulated) it does not appear to have been completely abandoned. According to post-Conquest sources, both Spanish and Maya, the Cenote Sagrado remained a place of pilgrimage. Spanish arrival In 1526 Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo (a veteran of the Grijalva and Corts expeditions) successfully petitioned the King of Spain for a charter to conquer Yucatn. His first campaign in 1527, which covered much of the Yucatn peninsula, decimated his forces but ended with the establishment of a small fort at Xamanha, south of what is today Cancun. Montejo returned to Yucatan in 1531 with reinforcements and took Campeche on the west coast. He sent his son, Francisco Montejo The Younger, in late 1532 to conquer the interior of the Yucatn peninsula from the north. The objective from the beginning was to go to Chichn Itz and establish a capital. Montejo the Younger eventually arrived at Chichen Itza, which he renamed Ciudad Real. At first he encountered no resistance, and set about dividing the lands around the city and awarding them to his soldiers. Over time, the Maya became more hostile until they eventually laid siege to the Spanish, cutting off their supply line to the coast, and forcing them to barricade themselves among the ruins of ancient city. After the course of several months, with no reinforcements forthcoming, Montejo the Younger attempted an all out assault against the Maya, and lost 150 of his remaining forces. He was forced to abandon Chichn Itz in 1534 under cover of darkness. By 1535, all Spanish had been driven from the Yucatan Peninsula. Montejo eventually returned to Yucatan and conquered the peninsula. The Spanish crown later issued a land grant that included Chichen Itza and by 1588 it was a working cattle ranch. The site contains many fine stone buildings in various states of preservation, and many have been restored. The buildings are connected by a dense network of formerly paved roads, called sacbeob. Archaeologists have found almost 100 sacbeob criss-crossing the site, and extending in all directions from the city.

The buildings of Chichn Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, and each set was at one time separated from the other by a series of low walls. The three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform, which includes the monuments of El Castillo, Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court; The Ossario Group, which includes the pyramid of the same name as well as the Temple of Xtoloc; and the Central Group, which includes the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib. South of Las Monjas, in an area known as Chichn Viejo (Old Chichn) and only open to archaeologists, are several other complexes, such as the Group of the Initial Series, Group of the Lintels, and Group of the Old Castle. Great North Platform El Castillo Dominating the center of Chichn is the Temple of Kukulkan (the Maya name for Quetzalcoatl), often referred to as "El Castillo" (the castle). This step pyramid has a ground plan of square terraces with stairways up each of the 4 sides to the temple on top. On the Spring and Autumn equinox, at the rising and setting of the sun, the corner of the structure casts a shadow in the shape of a plumed serpent - Kukulcan, or Quetzalcoatl - along the west side of the north staircase. On these two days, the shadows from the corner tiers slither down the northern side of the pyramid with the sun's movement to the serpent's head at the base. It is a step pyramid with a ground plan of square terraces with stairways up each of the four sides to the temple on top. Great sculptures of plumed serpents run down the sides of the northern staircase, and are set off by shadows from the corner tiers on the spring and autumn equinoxes. The Mexican government restored the pyramid in the 1920s and 1930s, concurrent with the Carnegie Institutions restoration of the Temple of Warriors. Archaeologists were able to reconstruct two sides of the pyramid in their entirety. Mesoamerican cultures periodically built larger pyramids atop older ones, and this is one such example. In the mid 1930s, the Mexican government sponsored an excavation into El Castillo. After several false starts, they discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. Inside the temple chamber is a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of jaguar, painted red with spots made of inlaid jade. The Mexican government excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramids stairway to the hidden temple, and opened it to tourists. In recent years, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), which manages the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, has been closing monuments to public access. While visitors can walk around them, they can no longer climb them or go inside their chambers. Climbing El Castillo was halted in 2006. At the same time INAH closed the public access to the throne room. Each of the structure's four stairways contain 91 steps. When counting the top platform as another step, in total El Castillo has 365 steps, one step for each day of the approximated tropical year recorded by the portion of the Maya calendar known as the Haab'. The structure is 24 m high, plus an additional 6 m for the temple. The square base measures 55.3 m across. The overall structure has nine levels, which may be a parallel to the Maya cosmological view of there being nine levels in the Maya 'Underworlds'. We are

led to believe this because of the staircase in the center of the pyramid having 13 levels, the number of levels in the "upper worlds Mesoamerican cultures periodically built larger pyramids atop older ones, and this is one such example. In the mid 1930s, the Mexican government sponsored an excavation into El Castillo. After several false starts, they discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. Inside the temple chamber was a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of jaguar, painted red with spots made of inlaid jade. The Mexican government excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramids stairway to the hidden temple, and opened it to tourists. In 2006, INAH closed the throne room to the public. Today "El Castillo" is one of the most popular and recognized pre-Columbian structures in present-day Mexico. In 1988, UNESCO declared the mayan city of Chichen Itza, Patrimonium of Humanity. Almost 20 years later , Bernard Weber film swiss film maker through the New Open World Corporation without the support of UNESCO but with the recognition of millions of voter through the world wide web elected the pyramid of Kukulcan one of the New Seven Wonders of the Worls on July, 07, 2007.

Great Ball Court


Archaeologists have identified several courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichn, but the Great Ball Court about 150 meters to the northwest of the Castillo is by far the most impressive. It is the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. It measures 166 by 68 meters (545 by 232 feet). The imposing walls are 12 meters high, and in the center, high up on each of the long walls, are rings carved with intertwining serpents. [19] At the base of the high interior walls are slanted benches with sculpted panels of teams of ball players. In one panel, one of the players has been decapitated and from the wound emits seven streams of blood; six become wriggling serpents and the center becomes a winding plant. At one end of the Great Ball Court is the North Temple, popularly called the Temple of the Bearded Man. This small masonry building has detailed bas relief carving on the inner walls, including a center figure that has carving under his chin that resembles facial hair. [20] At the south end is another, much bigger temple, but in ruins. Built into the east wall are the Temples of the Jaguar. The Upper Temple of the Jaguar overlooks the ball court and has an entrance guarded by two, large columns carved in the familiar feathered serpent motif. Inside there is a large mural, much destroyed, which depicts a battle scene. In the entrance to the Lower Temple of the Jaguar, which opens behind the ball court, is another jaguar throne, similar to the one in the inner temple of El Castillo, except that it is well worn and missing paint or other decoration. The outer columns and the walls inside the temple are covered with elaborate basrelief carvings. Tzompantli

Of all the monuments, the Tzompantli is the closest to what one would find in the Mexican altiplano region. This monument, a low, flat platform, is surrounded with carved depictions of human skulls. Platform of the Eagles and the Jaguars Next to El Castillo are a series of platforms. The Platform of the Eagles and the Jaguars is built in a combination Maya and Toltec styles. Each side has a staircase to the top. Carved into the sides are panels depicting eagles and jaguars consuming what appear to be human hearts. Platform of Venus This platform is dedicated to the planet Venus. In its interior archaeologists discovered a collection of large cones carved out of stone, the purpose of which is unknown. This platform is placed between El Castillo and the Cenote Sagrado. Sacbe Number One This sacbe, which leads to the Cenote Sagrado, is the largest and most elaborate at Chichen Itza. This white road is 270 meters long with an average width of 9 meters. It begins at a low wall a few meters from the Platform of Venus. According to archaeologists there once was an extensive building with columns at the beginning of the road. Cenote Sagrado The Yucatan Peninsula is a limestone plain, with no rivers or streams. The region is pockmarked with natural sinkholes, called cenotes, which expose the water table to the surface. One of the most impressive is the Cenote Sagrado, which is 60 meters in diameter, and shear cliffs that drop to the water table some 27 meters below. The Cenote Sagrado was a place of pilgrimage for ancient Maya people who, according to ethnohistoric sources, would conduct sacrifices during times of drought. Archaeological investigations support this as thousands of objects have been removed from the bottom of the cenote, including material such as gold, jade, obsidian, shell, wood, cloth, as well as skeletons of children and men. Temple of the Tables To the east of El Castillo are a series of buildings, the northernmost is the Temple of the Tables. Its name comes from a series of altars at the top of the structure that are supported by small carved figures of men with upraised arms, called atlantes. Temple of the Warriors The Temple of the Warriors complex consists of a large stepped pyramid fronted and flanked by rows of carved columns depicting warriors. This complex is analogous to Temple B at the Toltec capital of Tula, and indicates some form of cultural contact between the two regions. The one at Chichen Itza, however, was constructed on a larger scale. At the top of the stairway on the pyramids summit (and leading towards the entrance of the pyramids temple) is a Chac Mool. Group of a Thousand Columns Along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors are a series of what are today exposed columns, although when the city was inhabited these would have supported an extensive roof system. The columns are in three distinct sections: an east group, that extends the lines of the front of the Temple of Warriors; a north group, which runs along the south wall of the Temple of Warrriors and

contains pillars with carvings of soldiers in bas-relief; and a northeast group, which was apparently formed a small temple at the southeast corner of the Temple of Warriors, which contains a rectangular decorated with carvings of people or gods, as well as animals and serpents. The northeast column temple also covers a small marvel of engineering, a channel that funnels all the rainwater from the complex some 40 meters away to a rejollada, a former cenote. To the south of the Group of a Thousand Columns is a group of three, smaller, interconnected buildings. The Temple of the Carved Columns is a small elegant building that consists of a front gallery with an inner corridor that leads to an altar with a Chac Mool. There are also numerous columns with rich, basrelief carvings of some 40 personages. The Temple of the Small Tables which has an exterior motif of xs and os. And the Palace of Ahau Balam Kauil (also known as Thompsons Temple), a small building with two levels that has friezes depicting jaguars (balam in Maya) as well as glyphs of the Maya god Kahuil. Steam Bath This unique building has three parts: a waiting gallery, a water bath, and a steam chamber that operated by means of heated stones. El Mercado This square structure anchors the southern end of the Temple of Warriors complex. It is so named for the shelf of stone that rings a large gallery and patio that early explorers theorized was used to display wares as in a marketplace, although archaeologists today believe that its purpose was more ceremonial than commerce. Ossario Group South of the North Group is a smaller platform that has many important structures, several of which appear to be oriented toward the second largest cenote at Chichen Itza, Xtoloc. Ossario Like El Castillo, this step-pyramid temple dominates the platform, just on a smaller scale. Like its larger neighbor, it has four sides with staircases on each side. There is a temple on top, but unlike El Castillo, at the center is an opening into the pyramid which leads to a natural cave 12 meters below. Edward H. Thompson excavated this cave in the late 1800s, and because he found several skeletons and artifacts such as jade beads, he named the structure The High Priests' Temple. Archaeologists today do not believe that the structure was either a tomb or that the personages buried in it were priests. Temple of Xtoloc Outside the Ossario Platform is this recently restored temple which overlooks the other large cenote at Chichen Itza, named after the Maya word for iguana, "Xtoloc." The temple contains a series of pilasters carved with images of people, as well as representations of plants, birds and mythological scenes. Between the Xtoloc temple and the Ossario are several aligned structures: Platform of Venus (which is similar in design to the structure of the same name next to El Castillo), Platform of the Tombs, and a small, round structure that is unnamed. These three structures were constructed in a row extending from the Ossario. Beyond them the Ossario platform terminates in a wall, which contains an opening to a sacbe that runs several hundred feet to the Xtoloc temple.

House of the Metates and House of the Mestizas South of the Ossario, at the boundary of the platform, are two small buildings that archaeologists believe were residences for important personages. Central Group Las Monjas One of the more notable structures at Chichen Itza is a complex of Terminal Classic buildings constructed in the Puuc architectural style. The Spanish nicknamed this complex Las Monjas ("The Nuns" or "The Nunnery") but was actually a governmental palace. Just to the east is a small temple (nicknamed La Iglesia, "The Church") decorated with elaborate masks of the rain god Chaac. A number of other structures are near the "Monjas" complex. These include: "The Red House" "The House of the Deer" El Caracol To the north of Las Monjas is a cockeyed, round building on a large square platform nicknamed El Caracol or "the snail" for the stone spiral staircase inside. The structure, because of its unusual placement on the platform and round shape (the others are rectangular, in keeping with Mayan practice), is theorized to be a proto-observatory with doors and windows aligned to astronomical events, specifically around the path of Venus as it traverses the heavens.[21] Akab Dzib Located to the east of the Caracol, Akab Dzib means, in Maya, "The House of Mysterious Writing." An earlier name of the building, according to a translation of glyphs in the Casa Colorada, is Wa(k)wak Puh Ak Na, "the flat house with the excessive number of chambers, and it was the home of the administrator of Chichn Itz, kokom Yahawal Cho' Kak. [22] INAH completed a restoration of the building in 2007. It is relatively short, only 6 meters high, and is 50 meters in length and 15 meters wide. The long, western-facing facade has seven doorways. The eastern facade has only four doorways, broken by a large staircase that leads to the roof. This apparently was the front of the structure, and looks out over what is today a steep, but dry, cenote. The southern end of the building has one entrance. The door opens into a small chamber and on the opposite wall is another doorway, above which on the lintel are intricately carved glyphsthe mysterious or obscure writing that gives the building its name today. Under the lintel in the door jamb is another carved panel of a seated figure surrounded by more glyphs. Inside one of the chambers, near the ceiling, is a painted hand print. Old Chichen "Old Chichen" is the nickname for a group of structures to the south of the central site. It includes the Initial Series Group, the Phallic Temple, the Platform of the Great Turtle, the Temple of the Owls, and the Temple of the Monkeys. Source: Wikipedia

Chichen Itza, Yucatn, Mexico


Francais

Chichn Itz est une ancienne ville maya situe entre Valladolid et Mrida dans la pninsule du Yucatn, au Mexique. Chichn Itz tait probablement le principal centre religieux du Yucatn et reste aujourdhui lun des sites archologiques les plus importants et les plus visits de la rgion. Le 7 juillet 2007, l'endroit a t dsign comme l'une des sept nouvelles merveilles du monde aprs un vote organis par la New Seven Wonders Foundation. La prsence d'une cit maya cet endroit est due la prsence de deux puits naturels (cnotes) qui constituaient un trsor inestimable dans cette rgion dpourvue d'eau. Le site doit d'ailleurs son nom cette source d'eau souterraine : Chi signifie bouche et Chn, puit 1. Itz ( sorcier de l'eau en maya yucatque) est le nom du peuple qui fonda la ville en 534 aprs J.-C. et l'abandonna un sicle plus tard pour des raisons encore inconnues. partir du Xe sicle, Chichn Itz est devenu le centre religieux d'une civilisation MayaToltque florissante ; il tait probablement un lieu dinitiation pour les prtres qui taient par la suite envoys dans d'autres secteurs du Yucatn. Chichen itza a d'abord t achet par Edouard Thomson qui y a fait sans autorisation des fouilles dont il a ensuite expdi le produit aux Etats-Unis. Par la suite, le gouvernement mexicain a rclam la restitution de ces trsors archologiques, qui a eu lieu finalement de manire partielle. Le site est ddi Kukulkn, le serpent plumes. Il est compos de nombreux difices dont les plus importants sont : la grande pyramide (Castillo) ; lobservatoire (Caracol) ; le jeu de balle (ou pelote) ; le cnote ; la ncropole ; le temple aux mille colonnes ; le temple des guerriers. En de nombreux endroits, on peut dceler des traces de peinture qui rvlent que contrairement laspect uniformment gris que le site nous propose de nos jours, il avait t autrefois peint dans des couleurs vives. Chichen Itza, le temple des moines L'difice le plus important et le plus spectaculaire du site est une grande pyramide en terrasses, appele Castillo (chteau en castillan) par les conquistadors espagnols. Dune hauteur de 24 mtres du sol la plateforme suprieure, il ne sagit pas de la plus haute de la rgion (elle est par exemple moins leve que celle de Uxmal, haute de 40 m) mais c'est celle qui est dans le meilleur tat de conservation (il n'est d'ailleurs plus possible de grimper jusqu'au sommet, et ce, depuis 2007, dans un esprit de conservation). Du sommet de la pyramide, on peut toutefois voir tous les autres difices du site ainsi que la fort environnante, d'une superficie de 300 hectares. La lgende veut qu' la fin du Xe sicle, Chichn Itz ait t occupe par les Toltques conduits par le lgendaire Quetzalcoatl, le Serpent Plumes, chass par une faction rivale de la capitale toltque, Tula, au nord de l'actuelle Mexico. Le Castillo, attribu ces trangers, prsente des innovations architecturales qui tournent autour du thme du Serpent Plumes. La pyramide a une base carre et une vocation calendaire. En effet, la civilisation maya a dvelopp un degr trs avanc lastro architecture qui consiste allier les connaissances astronomiques au savoir faire architectural.

Ainsi, la pyramide prsente quatre faces chacune divise en neuf plateaux et portant quatre escaliers ayant chacune 90 marches, et non 91 comme le croit un grand nombre de personnes, en effet les marches ont t numrotes rcemment afin de mettre fin aux rumeurs. Lorientation et la construction de la pyramide sont telles qu'au moment prcis des quinoxes de printemps et d'automne, le soleil produit avec les artes de la pyramide une ombre porte qui font croire que les grosses ttes de serpents au pied des escaliers de la pyramide sont prolonges par le corps ondul d'un serpent. Ce serpent n'est autre que le dieu Kukulkan ou serpent plumes . Ce phnomne provoque un afflux trs important de touristes cette poque. La pente des escaliers est assez raide et si lascension pose gnralement peu de problme, le vertige contraint frquemment les visiteurs saider dune corde installe spcialement cet effet pour la descente. Mais depuis 2005, il est interdit de monter sur la pyramide cause de plusieurs dcs. La grande pyramide fut rige par-dessus une plus petite, prexistante. Un tunnel trs troit dont lentre est situe sous lescalier permet daccder une crypte que l'on peut visiter et o on peut dcouvrir un trne de pierre sculpt en forme de jaguar aux yeux de jade auquel fait face un chac-mool, sur lequel on dposait des offrandes. Le chacmool a t nomm ainsi par un franais. La seul face diffrente de toutes les autres est la face Nord, qui comporte deux petites ouvertures sur le cots. Lorsque l'on frappe des mains un cris d'oiseau en revient. L'observatoire Lobservatoire (galement appel caracol ou escargot en espagnol) fait face la grande pyramide et permettait aux mayas dtudier le mouvement des toiles dont ils avaient une connaissance trs prcise. Il permet aussi de voir la plante Vnus attribue au dieu Kukulcan (Dieu principal Maya). Jeu de balle Le jeu de balle (ou jeu de pelote) est parfois considr comme l'anctre du basket-ball moderne. Deux quipes s'affrontent sur un terrain de jeu rectangulaire, l'objectif tant de faire passer la balle dans un cercle en hauteur et seul le capitaine de l'quipe pouvait marquer le fameux but en or. Le jeu de balle maya interdisait nanmoins l'usage des mains mais autorisait celui des coudes, des cuisses et des hanches. Les dimensions exceptionnelles du jeu de balle de Chichn Itz amnent les archologues penser qu'il s'agissait ici plus dune crmonie que dun sport. On pense, en s'appuyant notamment sur les grandes fresques en bas reliefs qui entourent le terrain, que lors des grandes ftes une quipe reprsentant les forces de l' inframonde (symbolises par des jaguars) affrontaient une quipe reprsentant la lumire (sous la forme d'aigles) avec une balle en caoutchouc. Le match pouvait s'tendre sur plus d'un jour et selon les explications des guides sur place, la tte du capitaine de l'quipe gagnante tait tranche par le capitaine de l'quipe perdante. Pour les mayas, c'tait un grand honneur, la tte tait ensuite empale dans le mur prvu cet effet juste ct du stade de pelote. Le terrain de pelote prsente des caractristiques acoustiques surprenantes. Si l'on produit un son (par exemple en claquant dans ses mains) droite du terrain, on peut entendre 7 chos. De l'autre ct, en se positionnant la gauche, on peut entendre 9 chos. Les chiffres 7 et 9 taient magiques pour les mayas et apparaissaient frquemment dans les structures des constructions de cette civilisation.

Le temple des guerriers Le temple des guerriers du jaguar possde des fresques qui relatent la conqute de la pninsule par les Toltques. L'entre du temple qui est construit sur une pyramide est dlimite par deux magnifiques piliers, termins la base par deux normes ttes de serpents et prcds par un chaac-mool : cet trange personnage est sculpt dans la pierre dans une position moiti couche et reposant sur les coudes, de telle sorte qu'il soutient sur le ventre un plateau destin recevoir les offrandes faites au dieu (les curs des victimes sacrifies). Tout prs du temple des guerriers se dresse le temple des mille colonnes, chacune d'elles tant taille en forme de serpent plumes. Le cnote Une chausse conduit 300 m vers le nord, au cnote sacr, de 60 m de diamtre et 20 m de profondeur. Des dragues effectues dans le cnote ont permis de mettre au jour de nombreux objets d'or et de jade ainsi qu'un nombre important dossements (en particulier de jeunes enfants). Ces dcouvertes ont donn lieu de trs nombreuses interprtations. Certains y ont vu la barbarie dun peuple sanguinaire pratiquant les sacrifices humains pour apaiser le dieu de la pluie Chac en priode de scheresse : de jeunes vierges charges de prcieux ornements auraient t prcipites au fond du puits au cours d'une crmonie solennelle qui se droulait au lever du jour. Dautres estiment aujourdhui quil sagissait peut-tre denfants dcds trs jeunes et dont le sacrifice avait pour but de permettre la purification ou la rsurrection. La version des historiens du pays est toute autre, puisque les fouilles n'ont mis au jour qu'une centaine de corps (devins grce aux ossements repchs) ce qui signifie seulement 100 sacrifices pendant toute leur prsence. De plus, il s'agissait souvent de prisonniers et assez rarement de volontaires. Les ossements retrouvs sont majoritairement masculins, ce qui met fin au mythe du sacrifice de jeunes vierges. Il arrivait occasionnellement qu'une victime russisse se maintenir la surface et survivre jusqu' midi, auquel cas il tait repch en tant que sauv des dieux et sa parole tait alors coute par les prtres comme prdiction Source : Wikipedia