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People still gather there each year, as they have for centuries, to observe the sun illuminate the stairs of a pyramid dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent god. At the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Sun gradually illuminates the pyramid stairs and the serpent head at its base, creating the image of a snake slithering down the sacred mountain to Earth.
Writing of Chichen Itza, Mayan scholars Linda Schele and David Freidel tell us that:. 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. Adjacent to the head of Kukulkan, a doorway leads to an interior staircase.
One of the most famous and most visited Mayan pyramids, the Pyramid of Kukulkan (also known as El Castillo) is a 79 feet high step pyramid and the most impressive structure of the ancient city of Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico. The Pyramid of Kukulkan, however, isn’t only one of the finest examples of Mayan architecture but it also stands as evidence of the superior Mayan astronomical.
Chichen Itza was an extremely important pilgrimage site for 1000 years for the ancient Maya people. The Maya civilization began before 2000 BC and lasted until 1697 when the Spanish Empire conquered their last remaining city. The Maya people lived in southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador.
It is also the pyramid where, during equinox, the shadow of the Mayan deity Kukulcan, the feathered snake, can be seen. However, despite its 24 meters of height, El Castillo is the third tallest pyramid of the Yucatan’s Peninsula. Kukulcan-head-El-Castillo-Chichen-Itza-Mexico-The-third-tallest-Mayan-pyramid-in-Yucatan-Peninsula. Within Quintana Roo State, Coba is located, another great.
The shadow appears because the pyramid is designed to face 17 degrees off from the points of the compass. If the four sides of the pyramid were precisely oriented to the compass directions, the serpent shadow would not appear. This shows how advanced the Mayan knowledge of astronomy and mathematics was.
The sun creates a shadow of a huge 'snake' to ascend the steps in spring, and descend again in autumn (1). Whether or not this was a deliberate design feature is speculative, but other astronomical features at the site certainly lend weight to the idea that it was intentional. Each step corresponds to a day, each platform to a Mayan month. (17). The architecture of the pyramid encodes precise.
Mayan Civilization was the most important of all Mesoamerican civilizations which flourished through thousands of years. Particular advancements in art, architecture, and other domains were seen during the Classic Period of Mayan Civilization which extended from 250AD to 900AD. During this period, the Mayans constructed a wide range of grand Mayan pyramids, most of which are still standing.
The Lowlands (mainly Yucatan) are almost totally devoid of surface waterbodies such as rivers, streams and lakes, except for cenotes and seasonal swamps.Consequently, for the Maya, water is an underground thing and, probably because of the mist that can be seen often at the entrance of many caves in the area, it is believed that the clouds and the rain come from the Underworld.
As the Spring and Fall equinox sun sets, a diamond-backed snake (shadow) makes a snaky pattern on the way down the pyramid staircase. Here people gather and celebrate. The Mayan may have left their Temple Cities, but they did not leave. Many still practice their religions such as Popul Vuh. And speak their native language and dialects.
The pyramid has special astronomical layout so that a game of light and shadow is formed. On March 21st the body of the serpent metaphorically descends from the temple on top of the pyramid and arrives at the heads at the foot of the staircase. Just beyond El Castillo you will find a large ball court where Mayan men played a game called pok ta.
Maya architecture spans several. create the illusion of a snake winding its way down the steps of the pyramid. The snake is composed of several triangle shapes giving it the appearance of a diamond back snake. At the base of the northern stairway there are massive snake head sculptures, making this effect even more persuasive. While it is a widespread belief that this light-and-shadow.
The pyramid of Kukulkan is so brilliantly calibrated, that when day and night have the same length, an impressive spectacle takes place. Every year around March 21 and September 22, the god Kukulkan descends the steps of the temple in a play of light and shadow. Because at sunset, the shadows form the body of a snake crawling down the stairs.
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The moving snake on the Pyramid is an annual reminder of a conjunction of the zenith sun with the Pleiades over Chichen Itza, but this is an event which will occur in a 360-year window of time that is just about to open. Right at the start of the window is 2012 and on May 20 2012, the zenith passage combines with a solar eclipse, on the Tzolkin day 10 Chichan, which means serpent. The winter.Late in the afternoon the sun projects triangles of light created by the angle of the sun and the northern edges of the pyramid’s steps. Simulating a snake-like effect, the shadow gradually descends to the jaws of the serpent’s head carved at the base of the pyramid, leaving onlookers awestruck. Ancient Mayan legend believes this is the Kukulkan serpent making his way to the Well of.The phenomenon at Chichen Itza is seen in all its glory as the image of the serpent of light and dark triangles majestically appear down the stairs north of the Castle. First, the first shadows of the higher bodies of the pyramid begin to draw isosceles triangles that make up the body of the feathered serpent. Later, the shadow gradually moves towards snake-shaped head located at the bottom of.