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Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

Relevance:

It provided the aesthetics for the Lost World Temple.

The aesthetics for the temple at Chichen Itza collaborated with the temples at Tikal to produce the final design featured in the game. It was most likely the large square clearing and the stone carved Serpents head that were the aspect featured in the game.

Many of the Mayan ruins featured the Serpent design in some capacity; Chichen Itza is the best example for this. The serpent design certainly had an influence over the Pure Chaos design.

Information:

This, the city of the Maya, is located 75 miles east of Merida. The city covers an area of approximately Six square miles. Where many of the large buildings had once stood, now all that remains of them are weathered mounds. Fortunately thirty of the original buildings still survive.

Generally the ruins are divided into two groups; the first group is characterized by the classic Mayan period which was built between the 7 th and 10 th centuries A.D. The other group belongs to the Maya-Toltec period occupying the later part of the 10 th and 13 th century.

Original when the Maya first settled in this area the land was largely used for agricultural purposes, but arts and science gained importance during the central phase of the classic period.

From 800 to 925 A.D. toward the end of the classic period the foundations of the city had weakened, this was when the religious centers and the rural areas around them were abandoned. New centers were built to accommodate the peoples needs, however it was not until the 7 th century that the city was truly abandoned, before this the city was still visited to perform religious rites of bury the dead. The Maya finally returned to the city by the 10 th century A.D.

Around 1000 A.D the Maya formed an alliance with two powerful tribes, Xio and Cocom. During this time the people of Chichen Itza added new constructs to the site, magnificent buildings were erected, influence by Toltec art, they contained galleries, porches, colonnades and carvings depicting Serpents, Birds and Mexican Gods.

The Toltec influence the people of Chichen Itza in religion as-well, which meant human sacrifice. During sacrifices involving the Rain God the participants (or victim) ranged from children, young women and elderly men and women. It was in this time that the city saw yet another expansion, under another alliance this time with the Mayapan and Uxmal, its political base grew, and with it the physical city did as-well.

One of the best known constructs within the area is Kukulcan's Pyramid. The pyramid, which has a square base, stepped, and id 75 feet tall, was built for astronomical purposes. On March 20 th and September 21 st, during the Vernal and Autumnal equinox, the Pyramid is host to an optical effect. When the Sun strikes the Pyramid the shadow of seven isosceles triangles are cast across the ground imitating the form of a serpents body 37 yards long that joins its huge head which is carved into the bottom of the stairway. The symbol is believed to be connected with agricultural rituals.

Above, left to right: 1] photo taken at Chichen Itza by Sonic Team 2] Photo of the temple at Chichen Itza.

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