Persona (14)

Still alive ?
Who was the famous playwright poet ?
A murderous plot disguised as suicide ?
Her Disappearance
Poisoned ?
The mysteries of the Third Reich
The prince of darkness
The engineer of the future
The discovery of America
The Predictions of Michel de Nostredame
The Child Who Came From None
Premonitorial Signs Announced His Death ?
Has He Existed ?
The Mystery Still Hovers

Science (11)

The Disappearance
Are we alone ?
Who are our ancestors ?
Fiction or Reality ?
The Practitioner of Yoga
Are Black Holes Time Breaches?
Origins
Where is the Cemetery ?
Do Stars Dictate Our Destiny ?
500 KM of Geoglyphs
Fabulous Treasures Buried Underground ?

Ufology (4)

UFO crash in New Mexico
The Most Secret Military Zone In The World
Extraterrestrials Live Among Us
Dogons in Contact With Aliens ?

Parapsychology (11)

The Sixth Sense of People
The Gift of Foreseeing the Future
Emotional Forcefields
The Meaning of Dreams
A Premonition 14 Years in Advance
A Form of Psychokinesis ?
Can The Mind Move Objets ?
And Thy Fear of Nothingness
Can A Person Be Two Places At Once ?
Pain As Offering For Lord Murugan

Mysterious Place (16)

The Moai of Rapa Nui
The Lost City
City of the Cosmos
A City Dug In The Rock
A Celestial And Sacred Place
Magical City
The Secret Fortune of the Abbé Saunière
Ayers Rock
A vestige of Lemuria ?
King Solomon's Great Hidden Treasures
The Secret of the Astronaut
In Search Of Eldorado
What Are Menhirs For ?
The Work Of Mother Nature ?
Conquering Cancuen
The Mayan Astronomers ?

Egypt (10)

What killed the young pharaoh ?
What Secret Hides the Legendary Monument ?
A Monument That Defies Time
Bitten By A King Cobra?
What Has Become Of The Beautiful Queen Of Egypt ?
Assassinated By His Womens ?
The Books Written By The Gods
And the Mysterious Book of the Dead
The Valley of the Kings Abandoned ?
A Mythical Country of Ancient Egypt ?

Cryptozoology (11)

Mythology and Symbolism
Is It Real ?
The Abominable Snowman
The Goat Sucker
Lycanthropy
The Deadly Song of the Fish Woman
The Legend of Sasquatch
Are They Simply Tales ?
Voodoo and Golems - Myth ?
Serial Killer of the Eighteenth Century ?
A Mythological Version of Kongamato ?

Strange Phenomenon (9)

Mysterious disappearances
The Ghost Ship
Spiritism and Ghosts
The Feeling of Already Seen
Ghosts and Haunted Houses
Exorcism of the Demons by a Shaman Priest
Mysterious Explosion in Siberia
The Route Without Gravity ?
Apparitions Or Hallucinations ?

Bible and Religion (13)

Who Wrote It ?
A Matter of Faith ?
Guardians of the Secret
The Sinner Denigrated by the Church
Fallen Angels
The Marks of Christ
Universal Deluge
The Dead Sea Scrolls
And The Star of Bethlehem
Where Is It ?
The Sources Of The Arcanes
Where is the Ark of the Covenant ?

Magic (4)

Grimoire and Rituals
The Book Of Laws Of The Dead
Mediator Between the Spiritual and Material World
Origin of Misfortunes

Monument (8)

Monoliths
Did They Really Exist ?
What Did It Look Like ?
Has It Existed ?
The Mystery of Marian Cult
A Monument Filled With Mystery
The Holy Grail in Italy ?
The Fortress Of Love

Legend and Myth (9)

The Lost Continent
A Site of Legend
Just a Myth ?
The Lost City
The Fabulous Land Of Gold
And The Legend of Sherwood
The Modern Prometheus
The Eternal Saga
The Legend of the Treasure Well

History (8)

The Book That Lit The Pyres
Historic Reality ?
Vikings - In America Before Columbus?
The Greatest Political Scandal of the United States
The Lost Colony
Who Is This Enigmatic Smiling Woman ?
Marinus Van der Lubbe Guilty ?

Relic (3)

An Endless Quest
Esoteric Nazism

People and Civilization (6)

The Oldest Civilization of Meso America
The Decline of the Mayan Civilization
The People of Amma
The Celtic's Spiritual Elite
A Kingdom Without Men
The Mysterious Destiny of a Tribe

Disappearance (3)

A Great Aviator Missing
What Happened To Him ?

Cold Case (3)

Who is Behind The Murders ?
The assassination of John F Kennedy
Who Killed Lady Diana ?

Conspiracy Theory (1)

The Conspiracy Theory

France (3)

Has She Risen ?
Eustache Dauger
Ogre or Bluebeard ?
ADVERTISEMENT

Chichen Itza Mexico

The Mayan Astronomers ?

Chichen Itza

The Mayan civilization flourished in the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan, at a time which corresponds, in Europe, to the Middle Ages: immense cities were built in the middle of the tropical forest, rich in marvelous pyramids and magnificent temples. But it is a place which combines religion and astronomy more than others. Covering an area of 3 km2, Chichen Itza was one of the most important Mayan cities. The Chichen Itza site includes many fascinating buildings. Among the most mysterious, there is the famous Kukulkan Pyramid, the astronomical observatory called El Caracol and the famous ball game field, with such singular rules, without forgetting the Sacred Cenote of sacrifices.

ADVERTISEMENT

An astronomical observatory at Chichen Itza

El Caracol - Chichen Itza

El Caracol, which means snail in Spanish, indicates the interior staircase (spiral) of the old astronomical observatory. Its entries are aligned with the spring equinox while other elements recall astronomical events related to the Moon and the legend of the serpent god, the bearer of knowledge. During the day, the Mayans studied the movement of the Sun, analyzing the shadows cast inside the building while at night, they observed the reflection of the stars in large stone basins filled with water. The Mayans, who were serious observers of the night sky, knew the movements of the Universe, stars and planets; this is how they worked out their mythical calendar. Their scientific knowledge merged with religious beliefs. They seemed to be aware of the fact that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has the shape of a spiral in the center of which is a black hole. Hunab Ku, the god of creation among the Maya, is effectively represented in the form of a spiral at the center of which he creates life through powerful explosions. For some, this spiral is precisely an obvious religious metaphor describing the Milky Way.

A tribute to the serpent deity Kukulkan

The main monument of Chichen Itza is a surprising pyramid, also closely linked to astronomy: it is from the serpent deity Kukulkan that, according to myth, the Maya received knowledge, and it was his return that they expected. The pyramid of Chichen Itza dedicated to this god is constructed in such a way that, on the equinox days, the sun illuminates the grand staircase of the northwest by creating the shadow of what is truly in the shape of a huge snake. It was also designed in such a way that on December 21, 2012, the famous date ending the cycle of the Mayan triple calendar, the northwest edge projected a set of lights on the steps in order to illuminate the head of the snake carved with the base of the staircase by welding it. Some saw it as a sign of the serpent god's return to Chichen Itza.

ADVERTISEMENT

A deadly ball game

Chichen Itza ball game courtyard

But there is also, at Chichen Itza, an impressive field designed for ball games: 146 meters in length and 36 meters in width, the perimeter of which is surrounded by walls reaching almost 8 meters in height. The ball game was a very violent game, but much appreciated by the Mayans: a game whose meaning was sacred. The object of the game was to pass the ball through sealed stone rings about 7 meters above the ground; the winning team was the first to hit the target. But in the central courtyard of Chichen Itza, a macabre sign represents the decapitation of a ball player; some claim that this was the fate of the losers. A more recent interpretation claims that, on the contrary, it was the captain of the victorious team who had to be beheaded. It was a glory to be sacrificed to the gods: a victory that led to death, a way of being considered a god. But others also think that the whole ball game would have consisted only in representing, in an elaborate metaphor, the astronomical phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes: an extremely important knowledge for men obsessed by the movement of the stars and calendars. How is it that the Mayans possessed such highly developed astronomical and architectural knowledge? And most importantly, where did they learn everything they knew ? The mystery remains.

John Lloyd Stephens, the explorer who recounted his discovery of Chichen Itza in 1841, wrote down in his travel journals a disillusioned response : “Sitting on the edge of the wall, we tried in vain to penetrate the mystery that surrounds us. Who were the people who built these cities? The stranger who is among the ruins of Egyptian cities, even in those of Petra, knows the history of the people to whom these vestiges belonged. But when we asked the Indians, their monotonous response was always the same: “Quien sabe?” - "Who knows ?".

ADVERTISEMENT