Above. A rainbow seemingly emanates
from the chac masks on a corner of the Temple of the Columns.
The images present views
of Chichen Itza, a Mayan archaeological site in Yucatan, Mexico.
Each thumbnail photo is a
link to a larger version of the same photograph.
A Chac Mool statue faces the main plaza and
the Castillo pyramid from the centerline of the doorway atop the Temple
of the Columns platform. A section of the main doorway beam remains in
the socket atop the wall above the Chac Mool.
The Temple of the Columns is so named for the
many columns in the foreground and to the right of the platform. The
columns probably supported a roof. In the main doorway two serpent
columns supported a large wooden beam.
The interior of the structure at the northern
end of the Ballcourt is sculpted in bas relief. Red paint remains.
Viewing from the Temple of the Jaguars (right), the very level horizon,
a distinct aspect of Chichen Itza's location, is seen.
Perched high above the Ballcourt this double
serpent column doorway faces the Ballcourt. High walls with a
projecting stone ring line the two long sides of the Ballcourt. This
building is atop the east side of the Ballcourt and faces away from the
main plaza and the Castillo.
A close-up view of the 'jaguar mool' inside the
Castillo. Note the jade eyes. Perhaps these treasures are why the
guards chased me out of the ruins at sunrise! Another Chac Mool statue
has been found within the Castillo pyramid.
The present version of the Castillo sits atop
an earlier pyramid. This Chac Mool and the jaguar statue in the
background are located on top of the previous pyramid. Excavators have
created a tunnel up the original stairs and under the present stairs,
seen in the next row. A jaguar mool close-up follows below.
This giant serpent's head decorates the base of
the Castillo stairway.
A view of the author (in 1983) astride the
Ballcourt's wall with the Castillo in the background.
View of the Caracol in the foreground, the
Castillo dominating the left background and the Temple of the Column on
the far right. This view was taken from atop one of the Nunnery
The buildings in the Nunnery area display Puuc style
architecture, in contrast to the Toltec influence
in the Ballcourt and Castillo area.
"Que en Yucatan hay muchos
edificios de gran hermosura que es la cosa mas señalada que se
ha descubierto en las Indias ... que la razon de haber tantos es por
mudarse las poblaciones muchas veces; y que en cada pueblo labraban un
"Que estos edificios de Izamal
eran ... por todos sin haber memoria de los fundadores
... Que los segundos edificios mas principales son los de Tikoch y
Chicheniza ... Que Chicheniza es un
asiento muy bueno a diez leguas de Izamal y once de
Valladolid, donde dicen que reinaron tres señores hermanos que
vinieron a aquella tierra de la parte poniente, los cuales eran muy
religiosos y que asi edificaron muy lindos templos. Y que vivieron sin
mujeres muy honestamente, y que el uno de estos se murió o se
fue, por lo cuallos otros se hicieron parciales y deshonestos, y que
por ello los mataron. ... "
Relacion De Las Cosas
De Yucatan, Fray Diego de Landa
" 11 Ahau was the katun
when they carried on their backs. Then the land-surveyor first came;
this was Ah Ppizte who measured the leagues. Then there came the
chacté shrub for marking the leagues with their walking sticks.
Then he came Uac-hab-nal to pull the weeds along the leagues, when
Mizcit Ahau came to sweep clean the leagues, when the land-surveyor
came. These were long leagues that he measured. ..."
"... the great mounds came
to be built by the lineages and all the things which the rulers did.
They were the ones who built the mounds. It took thirteen katuns and
six years for them to construct them. The following was the beginning
of the mounds they built. Fifteen four-hundreds were the scores of
their mounds, and fifty more made the total count of the mounds they
constructed all over the land. "
THE BOOK OF CHILAM BALAM
OF CHUMAYEL, Ralph L. Roys, 1933, Carnegie Institution Washington D.C.