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The Mayan Sacred Sites: Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, Copán and Tikal

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Published on Nov 17, 2012

The Mayan Sacred Sites: Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, Copán and Tikal

Maya architecture spans many thousands of years; yet, often the most dramatic and easily recognizable as Maya are the stepped pyramids from the Terminal Pre-classic period and beyond.

It has been suggested that temples and pyramids were remodeled and rebuilt by a new ruler or for political matters. However, the process of rebuilding on top of old structures is indeed a common one. Most notably, the North Acropolis at Tikal seems to be the sum total of 1,500 years of architectural modifications.

Chichen Itza

Chichen was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya civilization. The archaeological site is located in the Mexican state of Yucatán.
Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic (c.600--900 AD) through the Terminal Classic (c.800--900) and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period (c.900--1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Maya lowlands
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.

Uxmal

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. Uxmal holds some of the most complex and beautiful examples of the regional Puuc-style architecture, and its magnificent pyramids and structures make it a popular tourist destination.

Palenque

Palenque was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 100 BC to its fall around 800 AD. After its decline it was absorbed into the jungle, but has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors.
Palenque 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 that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments. The most famous ruler of Palenque was Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.

Copán

Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. Copán was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period right through to the Postclassic. The city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya, perhaps to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city's rulers.

Tikal

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in what is now northern Guatemala.
Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD. During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico.

More on: http://www.asia-pictures.net/central_...
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and: http://www.asia-pictures.net/spiritua...

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