Great Ball Court and Temple of the Jaguars, Chichen Itza

Their castle looks like a pyramid, is called El Castillo. It’s 75 feet tall. The large steps end in two big serpent heads. The Mayans knew a lot about the calendar. On the first day of spring and the first day of fall, the sun casts shadows on the steps that look like a snake wiggling down the pyramid.

To the Maya this was a lucky symbol. It meant the golden sun had entered the earth, meaning it was time to plant corn.

The main ball court is the largest anywhere, Called the Juego de Pelota, it is one of nine ball courts built in this city. Carved on both walls of the court are scenes showing Mayan figures dressed as ball players wearing heavy protective padding. Link to Chichen Itza on Mayan Kids educational site.
Chichen Itza “chee-cha nee-sa” was created by people called the Itzles in 445 BC. About 800 years later, the city was empty. Why the people left is still a mystery. The people made many pictures of feathered serpents, eagles and jaguars.

Cenote Sagrado

Archeologists have found a fortune in gold and jade at the Cenote Sagrado sacred cenote “say no-tay” in Chichen Itza. A cenote is a deep sinkhole with water at the bottom,

This well was used strictly for ceremonies, not for drinking. According to legend, people were sacrificed here to honor the rain god Chaac. They also tossed copper, gold, and jade offerings into the cenote

Colonnade at Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza “chee-cha nee-sa” was created by people called the Itzles in 445 BC. About 800 years later, the city was empty. Why the people left is still a mystery. The people made many pictures of feathered serpents, eagles and jaguars.

Cenote Sagrado
Archaeologists have found a fortune in gold and jade at the Cenote Sagrado sacred cenote “say no-tay” in Chichen Itza. A cenote is a deep sinkhole with water at the bottom,
This well was used strictly for ceremonies, not for drinking. According to legend, people were sacrificed here to honor the rain god Chaac. They also tossed copper, gold, and jade offerings into the cenote

Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza, , originally uploaded by jimg944.

Caracol

Caracol, originally uploaded by Beemans.

Coba

This early Mayan site covers a very large area, 42 square miles.  Coba is a favorite site for the adventurous.

The jungle has not been cleared away and that makes it easier to feel like one is stepping back in time. It’s that Indiana Jones kind of feeling.

Coba is famous for a missing king, Chac Balam (Red Jaguar) who disappeared after age 30, with no stone records marking his death–very unusual for a Mayan ruler. It is assumed he was probably captured by enemies.

White Roads:
Mayan for “water stirred by the wind”, Coba is next to a group of shallow lakes.  The archaeological remains are of a city begun in AD 600.

These structures were scattered along a system of sacbe, which means “white roads”. Each sacbe was built to exact rules. There was to be a base of stones three to 6 feet high, about 15 feet side, covered with white mortar. The remains of more than 50 sacbe have been found  crossing the  Peninsula There are more in Coba than in any other location.

Coba was the largest city of its time with many outlying villages, and an important trade link between the Yucatán Caribbean coast and inland cities.

The Pyramids
The second highest pyramid on the site is called La Iglesia (the church). From the top there is a view of the surrounding jungle and one of Lake Macanxoc.    Nohoch Mul, the tallest pyramid here is 138 feet tall. At the top there is a small temple with a carving of the Descending God.
Stelae
There is a collection of carved stone pillars, or stelae, arranged in an area called the Grupo Macanxoc. 32 more Classic period stelae scattered throughout the Coba area.

Cunjunto Las Pinturas
Conjunto Las Pinturas was named because of the stucco paintings that once lined the walls. Here, clues of the paintings, in layers of yellow, red and blue — can still be seen on the top corner of the temple.

121, originally uploaded by photos.juliechen.

Coba 2

This early Mayan site covers a very large area, 42 square miles. It is a favorite site for the adventurous.  At Coba, the jungle has not been cleared away and that makes it easier to feel like one is stepping back in time. It’s that Indiana Jones kind of feeling.

Coba is famous for a missing king, Chac Balam (Red Jaguar) who disappeared after age 30, with no stone records marking his death–very unusual for a Mayan ruler. It is assumed he was probably captured by enemies.

White Roads:

Mayan for “water stirred by the wind”, Coba is next to a group of shallow lakes. The archaeological remains are of a city begun in AD 600.

These structures were scattered along a system of sacbe, which means “white roads”. Each sacbe was built to exact rules. There was to be a base of stones three to 6 feet high, about 15 feet side, covered with white mortar. The remains of more than 50 sacbe have been found crossing the Peninsula There are more in Coba than in any other location.Coba was the largest city of its time with many outlying villages, and an important trade link between the Yucatán Caribbean coast and inland cities.

The Pyramids

The second highest pyramid on the site is called La Iglesia (the church). From the top there is a view of the surrounding jungle and one of Lake Macanxoc. Nohoch Mul, the tallest pyramid here is 138 feet tall. At the top there is a small temple with a carving of the Descending God.

Stelae
There is a collection of carved stone pillars, or stelae, arranged in an area called the Grupo Macanxoc. 32 more Classic period stelae scattered throughout the Coba area.
Cunjunto Las Pinturas
Conjunto Las Pinturas was named because of the stucco paintings that once lined the walls. Here, clues of the paintings, in layers of yellow, red and blue — can still be seen on the top corner of the temple.

159, originally uploaded by photos.juliechen.

El Castillo in Tulum

El Castillo in Tulum, originally uploaded by Alaskan Dude.

Palenque

Palenque is a Maya archeological site in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen. It is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings the Maya produced.
More Information on Mayan Kids:Palenque

DSCF1000.JPG, originally uploaded by Jo Simon.

Palenque

uploaded by procsilas.

Uxmal – Palacio del Gobernador

Uxmal is a large pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. It is 78 km south of Mérida, Yucatán

Uxmal is pronounced “Oosh-mahl”. The place name is Pre-Columbian and it is usually assumed to be a Maya language phrase meaning “Built Three Times”

When discovered, Uxmal was in better condition than many other Maya sites thanks to being very well built.

Much was built with well cut stones set into concrete to hold the building together. The Maya architecture here is considered matched only by that of Palenque in elegance and beauty. The architecture is the Puuc style.

Some of the more noteworthy buildings include:

The Governor’s Palace, a long low building atop a huge platform, with the longest façades in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

The Adivino or Pyramid of the Magician, a fine pyramid temple unusual. The layers of the step pyramid are oval, rather than the usual rectangular shape. It was a common to build new pyramids over older ones, but here a newer pyramid was built slightly east of the older pyramid,. On the west side the old temple is preserved, with the newer temple above it.

The Nunnery Quadrangle is the finest of Uxmal’s several fine long buildings with elaborately carved façades

A large Ballcourt for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame, which an inscription indicating it was dedicated in 901 by the ruler Chan Chak K’ak’nal Ajaw, also known as Lord Chac.

Oother temple-pyramids include House of the Birds, House of the Turtles, Grand Pyramid, House of the Doves,

The majority of hieroglyphic inscriptions are on a series of stone stelae unusually grouped together on one platform. The stelae carvings show the ancient rulers of the city.

Uxmal – Palacio del Gobernador, originally uploaded by Jahmarcos.

Uxmal

DSC_0019, originally uploaded by Adam_d_.