Visiting Chichen Itza Essay, Research Paper
Professor Pat Leitch
ENC 1102 English Composition 2
14 May 2001
Visiting chichen Itza
Ruins and pyramids have always held a special fascination for me, I find them to be impressive and quite mysterious. Chichen Itza is no ordinary place, these ruins stand tall in very tropical and fertile ground, unlike other pyramids that are usually in desert like locations. Chichen Itza is not just a pyramid, it s the reflection of an entire civilization that vividly reflects how the Mayans lived. Seeing a pyramid for the first time made me understand why people are so mesmerized and intrigued by them.
The sacred city of the Itza, called Chichen Itza in Maya, is located 75 miles east of Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan, Mexico. This archaeological site is rated among the most important of the Mayan culture and covers an area of approximately six square miles where hundreds of buildings once stood (http://emuseum.mankanto.msus.edu 13 may 2001). Chichen Itza has a hot and humid weather for most part of the year.
The pyramid of Kulkulkan, the gem of Chichen Itza, is actually a reflection of a calendar in stone, There are nine levels, one for each month in the Mayan calendar; 54 indented squares, one for each week; and 366 steps, one for each day of the year (http://lyricos.cs.berkeley.edu/chichenitza/ 13 may 2001). Unlike the pyramids in Egypt, Kulkulkan can actually be climbed even though it is an arduous task, especially under the hot Mexican weather, but the view is worth the climb. From the top all of the ruins in Chichen Itza are visible.
Another interesting place is the observatory ( El Caracol), it has windows that align with certain stars throughout the year, and this determined when celebrations, planting and harvesting took place, this might be one of the reasons why the Mayans were known for their astrological knowledge. Almost every Mayan city had a ball court, and Chichen Itza s is the largest. The game was a cross of basketball and soccer, the conclusion of the game is not very clear, some say the captain of the winning team would get decapitated, while others say the looser captain would.
Chichen Itza is a captivating and enchanting place that people should visit at least once in their lives. Once you are there, you will be transported in time and experience the magnitude of one of the most intriguing ancient civilizations known to mankind.