Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán

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“El Castillo,” - Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán - Laser Scan, Courtesy of Cyarq.org

Perspective of El Castillo, created from laser scan data Courtesy of Cyark.org

Chichén Itzá, México – © María O. Baum

The pyramid of El Castillo is dedicated to the feathered serpent deity Kukulkán, the flying god that came to teach the Maya.

  • The structure has nine terraces and four staircases.
  • There is a temple with four doorways on top of its highest terrace.
  • It towers 98.4251969 feet – 30 meters above the Great Plaza with a base of 180.446194 feet – 55 meters on four sides.
  • El Castillo has 91 steps on each side for a total of 365 steps, equal to the number of days in the year under the solar Ha’ab Calendar – one of main two Maya calendars.
  • Equinox and Solstice –  2 equinoxes and 2 solstices occur at 91-day intervals every year. At sunset on the equinoxes (spring and fall), a special phenomenon can be observed at El Castillo – the interplay of light and shadow from the sun’s position make it appear that a serpent is slowly going down the balustrades of the staircase; this was likely designed as a visual cue for the proper time to do agricultural ceremonies, harvest, and plant new crops.
  • Deep within this pyramid lies the Jaguar Throne room dedicated to the deity Kukulkán, the feathered serpent.
Venus Platform - Courtesy of CyArk.org
Venus Platform, Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán, México – Courtesy of CyArk.org
Venus Platform, Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán, México -  ©María O. Baum
Venus Platform, Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán, México – ©María O. Baum

The Venus Platform is a structure inscribed on its base panels with images of Kukulkán, the feathered snake-deity and has representations of the planet Venus.

Gruta de Balankanché - Courtesy of CyArk.org
Gruta de Balankanché – Courtesy of CyArk.org
Gruta de Balankanché – México -  © María O. Baum
Gruta de Balankanché – México – © María O. Baum

Perspective of the limestone column in the Cave of Balankanché, created from laser scan data. Courtesy of CyArk.org – A Perspective is a screen shot of a 3D Point Cloud, 3D Models and Digital Reconstructions.

The Cave of the Jaguar’s Throne inside the Grotto of Balankanché, in the Yucatán, is located near Chichén-Itzá. This sacred Maya site was not discovered until a few years ago and the INAH National Institute of Archaeology and History of Mexico left the original offerings where they found them.

5 thoughts on “Chichén-Itzá – Yucatán

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