Chichen Itza

Chichen-Itza: The ancient sacred city of the Itza, called Chichen-Itza (chee-chehn eet-sah)   in Maya, is located 75 miles east of Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan, Mexico. The Toltec influenced the Itza in more ways than just architecture. They also imposed their religion on the Itza, which meant human sacrifice on a large scale on the top of the step pyramid. They believe this will satisfy the feathered serpent god Kukulcan. Chichén-Itzá is an archeological site of an ancient city built by the Mayas, which is located in the northern Yucatán Peninsula, present-day Mexico. The site contains various massive structures such as El Castillo (the Temple of Kukulkán) and the ancient Temple of the Warriors, on top of which we find a statue of Chac-Mool or Rain God, on which it is said that the Mayan priests placed still beating hearts removed from living victims in their sacrificial rituals. Chichén-Itzá was a vast metropolis. It was built by a Mayan tribe called the Itzáes in the 9th century AD and flourished as a major regional capital until the 12th century. The true origin of the Itzá people still remains mystery. They are said to have possibly branched from Putún Maya, a conspicuous tribe in the Mexico Bay area, or had their roots in the Petén region of Guatemala. A possibility that they were originally native to northern Yucatán is also pointed out.

Other remarkable structures at Chichén-Itzá that reflect the magnificence of the city include the temple dedicated to Kukulkán, the God of Venus, an astronomical observatory called El Caracol (evidence shows that the Maya made observations of the Sun, Venus, and the Pleiades from that building), the huge Ball Court, and many other large and small temples. In the neighborhood, there is a natural well or "cenote" (sacred well) that is believed to have provided a stable water supply for the city's population of 40,000.

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