The Mayan culture keeps many secrets dating from the 20th century B.C. to the 15th century A.D., this culture is one of the most important in Mexico. Discover why Chichen Itza is so important.
It was a Mesoamerican civilization located in the country’s southeastern region covering Tabasco, Campeche, Chiapas, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo, even extending to some countries such as Guatemala and Honduras, where they developed and created their temples and cities. Being Chichen Itza, the most internationally known for being one of the seven wonders of the modern world since 2007, is Chichen Itza.
This culture left very valuable contributions to humanity, such as the city of Chichen Itza, which holds important structures such as the temple of Kukulcan, which was the main structure of this city. It demonstrates the profound knowledge of mathematics, geometry, acoustics, and astronomy that this imposing culture possessed in those times and important contributions to the world.
The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, one of the seven wonders of the world since 2007. This place stood out for being one of the most important Mayan settlements and one of the largest in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, achieving great importance for Mexico and the world.
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History of Chichen Itza
In the area occupied by the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, the main buildings of its period of maximum splendor are still preserved. You can contemplate the Temple of the Warriors, with the impressive group of the thousand columns, the observatory, also called the Snail, the pyramid of Kukulkan, the court of the Ball Game, and the Tzompantli.
Chichen Itza means “the city at the edge of the well of the Itzaes,” who settled in Chichen Itza in the 9th century A.D. and forged a large domain with a unified culture. Still, at the end of the 10th century, the city was invaded by a warrior tribe, the Toltecs. This invasion brought a new series of cultural elements with it, the most outstanding being the representation of the serpent god Kukulkan.
Around 1250 A.D., the city was abandoned for reasons not fully determined. So great was the power of this city that centuries after its decline, it was still a site of pilgrimage and worship. Even around 1540 A.D., Francisco de Montejo, founder of Mérida, thought of building the capital there.
Chichen Itza covered as much as 25 km2. The religious, cultural, and administrative center about 6 km2 from where the culture’s elite lived in palace-like buildings, decorated and painted in bright colors. Around these, in green fields, lived between 50,000 and 100,000 people in palm-roofed palapas.
On the other hand, the Sacred Cenote was the heart of the religious activities of the entire Maya area. It was a place of worship to the god of rain, Chaac, since the Late Classic period in 650 A.D. and continued until the end of the Postclassic period, in 1350 A.D. Today, objects of gold, jade, copper, cloth, and basketry have been extracted from its bottom, which was apparently thrown as ceremonial offerings.
Top Five Interesting facts about Mayan Culture
The Mayan civilization is so ancient that traces of its existence can be found in remote times. Contributions of the Mayans to the present day are numerous. This civilization left many contributions that have served over the years to improve the lives of humanity.
In this section, we will show you 10 of the most important contributions of the Mayan Culture that have stood out over the years:
The Mayans in Chichen Itza were the creators of zero.
As you have read, the Mayans used zero before any other civilization as a well-developed mathematical concept in their numerical system. This was necessary for their numeration because the Maya had a positional system. That is, each symbol had a different value according to the position it occupied. Their numbers were represented by dots and strokes, making it easier for them to do their mathematics.
The Mayans and the end of the world.
The 2012 phenomenon was much talked about because it was said that the Mayans had predicted that the end of the world was approaching that year. The truth is that this has to do with the Mayan calendar, which is divided into cycles called baktuns. Hence, the thirteenth baktun ended on 21 December 2012, indicating that a new cycle was beginning. It was therefore interpreted as “the end of the world.”
A culture rich in dialects.
According to UNESCO, today’s Mayan culture has a wide variety of up to 69 different dialects of the language, some with only 53 speakers (teko) and others with more than 400,000 (tsetal), making it a significant cultural contribution.
The Mayans: Great astronomers.
Many of the observations of the Mayans have survived to the present day.
The Mayas had their own solar calendar and knew the periodicity of eclipses. They knew with great accuracy the synodic revolutions of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They also calculated the Moon, the Sun, and stars such as the Pleiades, marking specific religious festivals.
The disappearance of the Mayans.
The sudden disappearance of the Mayan civilization is one of the most studied archaeological enigmas in history.
The Maya dominated much of Mesoamerica for more than eighteen centuries. Still, no one has explained why such a powerful astronomical and mathematical culture collapsed so forcefully.
Some theories relate the disappearance to the depletion of resources. It is thought that the Mayans had to leave their cities, which led to their total extinction. However, another theory, and perhaps the strangest, is that the Maya are related to divine beings from the future. What is certain is that their sudden disappearance has the whole world stunned.
The Mayan culture is one of the most important in America. Thanks to its significant advances have been made in science and culture that have helped the development of humanity for many years.
One of the greatest legacies that the Mayans left was Chichen Itza, one of the world’s seven wonders. This city has great value because it has many contributions that let us see the intelligence of the Mayas in mathematics, astronomy, etc.
The truth is that the Mayans were unique as a culture and civilization. Their importance lies in their excellent knowledge and contributions that gave way to new cycles in the life of the human being.