Saturday, June 2, 2012

Serpents head at the base of the temple at Chitzen-Itza.  I wish I could remember everything our tour guide explained to us about the Mayan people and their beliefs.  We tried to convince our tour guide to come to California with all his knowledge to put on a fireside for our stake.  He said he is coming to Cali in August so maybe we'll get another chance to listen to him explain everything we saw on our trip. 
The interesting thing about this temple, is that their is another one built underneath this one.  It wasn't discovered until fairly recently and so when the archaeologists entered the space between the two temples and made their way to the top of the smaller temple they discovered a jaguar shaped altar which was still painted a reddish color and adorned with green jade stones.  Miguel had a picture of the actual altar which was really neat.  So at the base of the temple near the head of the serpent their is a door that was discovered that leads you into the inner area between the two temples.  So the temple that you are looking at, is actually free standing over the top of the smaller one. 
The clouds looked really neat while we were at Chitzen-Itza.  Almost like the end of the world was approaching. 
So our tour guide Miguel told us that the Mayan calendar works in something like cycles.  Their are four different cycles, each of which lasts 52 years.  So the four cycles or whatever they are called are Earth, Rain, Wind and Fire.  The whole end of the world thing basically says that the end of the world would occur at this Fire cycle.  Well the next Fire cycle starts December 21, 2012, but the cycle lasts for 52 years.  So is it going to happen on the day the cycle starts or maybe sometime throughout the 52 year period, or maybe it could be interpereted to mean that their just won't be another Fire cycle before the end of the world.  If that were the case, then we are still looking at another 200 plus years.  So who knows!
The Mayans at Chitzen-Itza were invaded by a people called the Toltecs I believe.  This temple has thousands of pillars surrounding it.  They actually haven't finished the exuming of this temple.  The square columns are the warriors of the Toltecs who lost their lives during the wars.  The round columns were the Mayan warriors who lost their lives. 
This is where the high priest would sit during the ball game.  The center stone directly at the back of this temple depicts a white God with a beard. 
 I have no idea how you could get a six pound rubber ball through this ring that must have been atleast 15-20 feet high, if not higher, and with no hands. 
The Mayans remembered their dead by their skulls, not how they looked when they were alive.  These images of skulls are all the winners of the ball games over the years.  The ball game was played once a year during the five holy days of the year.  The winner was immediately sacrificed and the belief was that he would be saved along with his ancestors. 

This is a Cenote called Ik-Kil.  I totally remembered going to this Cenote six years ago with Nicole when we were last in Cancun. 
Here we are posing about half way down the stairs to the water at the Cenote.  You can see the roots of the trees and plants behind us reaching down to the water. 
Nicole and Bridget getting ready to jump in the water with the little black fish.  While we were all swimming in the water, Scott dove down and snuck up behind Nicole and grabbed her ankle.  She screamed so loud that all the other visitors that were swimming immediately got out of the water!  Ok, not totally true.  But she did scream really loud, and it was really funny!