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Amazing Mayan Pyramid At Chichen Itza
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Standing before the great pryamid at Chichen Itza for the first time was really a moment to remember. Like so many ancient sites, I find that standing there, thinking about the history of these archaeological sites, is overwhelming. Only the presence of other travelers and the odd person selling trinkets could remove my from that moment of reverie.
On my first visit to Chichen Itza, I managed to get there early enough that the ancient Mayan site wasn't covered with people yet. I love that as it left me just enough people to provide scale to the great temple to Kukulkan while still affording a clear expanse of foreground leading our eyes uninterrupted to the unforgettable subject, the pyramid itself.
I love how El Castillo reaches into the sky high above the trees. The landscape of the Yucatan is mostly flat so the Maya temples like this one basically were man-made mountains to reach towards the heavens. In fact, like many similar temples in what is modern day Mexico and Latin America, archaeologists have discovered that these temples were re-built over older temples over the centuries. The Maya and others in the region literally covered their old temples with newer and larger ones. At one time, I'm told tourists could go inside Kukulkan's temple and see a smaller one that excavations had uncovered inside. Alas by the time I visited this was no longer the case.
Note: The archaeological site at Chichen Itza is a UNESCO designated World heritage site and has been dubbed one of the great wonders of the modern world.
March 6th, 2013
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