Chichén Itzá Equinox

Chichen Itza Temple of Kukulcan Serpent

“Not only is the Mayan pyramid at Chichén Itzá one of the greatest surviving monuments of the Mayan civilisation, but it also captures the light in a unique way when it’s solstice or equinox time.

Not quite ruler of an empire, Chichén Itzá became, for a time, the pivot of the lowland Maya world. The Temple of Kukulkan (for the Feathered Serpent God, also known as Quetzalcoatl) is the largest and most important ceremonial structure at the site. This 90-foot-high pyramid is a storehouse of information on the Mayan calendar and is cleverly positioned to mark the solstices and equinoxes.

At sunset on both the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, an interplay between the sun’s light and the edges of the stepped terraces on the pyramid creates a fascinating – and very brief – shadow display upon the sides of the northern stairway. A serrated line of seven interlocking triangles gives the impression of a long tail leading downward to the stone head of the serpent Kukulkan, at the base of the stairway.”




4 Responses to “Chichén Itzá Equinox”

  1. 1 boatdog
    September 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I just happened to be reading a book on Mayan history, and a chapter on Chichen Itza when you posted this. I’m a little confused from what I’ve read, but it sounds like the archaeologists are also. Everybody seems to agree that Mayan people have occupied this site continuously going back 8,000 years at least. What they don’t agree on is who really was “in power” at the time referenced above, when this place was the “pivot of the lowland Maya world.” There is apparently evidence to indicate that the place may have been taken over by the Toltec from the north during this time.

    But in spite of whatever cultural differences existed in the ruling classes at any given time, the place is clearly phenomenal. I’ve read that, of the indigenous people of Mexico and Central America, the Maya are one of the only groups who have maintained their integrity and who continue to assert their autonomy. There have been numerous uprisings over the centuries, and the indigenous people of Chiapas (Mayans) are part of the core group that formed the Zapatistas who declared war on the Mexican state in 1994.

    • 2 O3
      September 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm

      The French explorer, photographer, and adventurer, Desire Charnay, was a pioneer in using photography to show record his discoveries of ancient civilizations in Mexico. His personal report on his 1857-1861 expedition, Le Mexique, souvenirs et impressions de voyage, published in 1863, was his most important publication. His official report, in Viollet-le-Ducs publication, Cites et ruines americaine, introduced his photography to archaeological work. Although Charnay discovered wheeled toy dogs in a cemetery on Ixtaccihuatl, his find was not taken seriously during his lifetime.


      The American Philosophical Society changed their page and is less user friendly?

      Claude-Joseph Desire Charnay
      Charnay also did alot of drawings of sites.

      I’m also going to watch “The Fountain” again that sort of relates to this? The Director, Darren Aronofsky, also did “Requiem for a Dream” and “The Wrestler”. I’ve got “The Fountain” and “The Wrestler” if you want to see them (I like ’em). Guess I’ll finally have to see “Requiem for a Dream” .

  2. 3 boatdog
    September 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    You may also be interested in Bonampak,which it’s a Mayan site that was discovered in 1946. It is somewhat unique because they found colorful painted murals at the site (color and paint are usually long gone from the Maya ruins). There was a photographer who went to the site shortly after the discovery and his photographs are the main record of the murals, which have now faded away mostly (according to what I’ve read).

    Anyway here it is:


    There’s also a National geographic issue devoted to the Maya that I’d like to have:


  3. 4 elawrence
    September 26, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Great memories of Chicken itzzee (that is what Earl called it) went there on my honeymoon-good times. You should also try and climb the ruin at Tulum. Steps are not too deep-short feet work best.

    PS Send me Al’s e-mail address!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

1984 Computer portrait from State Fair

September 2009
« Aug   Oct »

%d bloggers like this: