30 March 2012 | Gasparilla Marina
80's day 60's night
I have added the Mayan ruin picture gallery for you to see. During our trip we visited 6 different Mayan ruins in three different countries and still felt like we had much more to see. Tikal in Guatemala, and Chichen Itza in Mexico are the most famous and most visited . However we also visited Talum, the only coastal ruin, and the one that lasted into the 1500's as well as Ek Balam in the Yucatan of Mexico which although smaller has the best sculptures preserved.
The picture attached here is the huge ball court at Chichen Itza. This is the best preserved ball court we saw but most of the cities had many ball courts many much smaller but still there. There has been much speculation as to what was done there. Matches to decide whom to sacrifice? Re enactment of battles won for the city state? Simply a game? No one knows for sure but what we learned at the pictured site was that the acoustics were astounding. There is just the slightest angle to walls that creates an echo that reverberates 14 times! In fact archaelogists improperly restored a section at vertical and were obliged to return and redo the work at the appropriate angle to regain the echo.
Speaking of echoes if you stand in front of a large temple and clap your hands loudly the noise that echoes back is the sound of the Quetzal bird which was sacred to the Mayans. The temple at Chichen Itza at the summer soltice when the sun rises creates a shadow that comes down the corner of the temple and ends at a snake head looking like the god Kukulkan! All this took place and was thriving when Europe was nothing but a collection of dirty mud huts (900AD).