Mayan Civilization and Pyramids
Allowing us to trace the Mayan Civilization back in history as far as 3, 000 years, tells us that we have much to learn of the Mayan People. The people came from the southern part of mexico and the northern part of central America. Archaeological evidence shows us hat they began building their charactristic ceremonial structures (Mayan Pyramids) or Pyramid Temples, right back 3, 000 years ago. They belong from the Terminal pre-classic period and can be traced from before this time in some cases, they first seen as burial mounds.
There are two types of Mayan Pyramids: A climbing pyramid and the other was built for non climbing purposes, infact the purpose was thought to be that to be used to carry out sacrificial rituals. The climbing Pyramid strangley was not built for climbing at all, it had very steep steps leading to doorways that infact lead literally to nowhere!
Some of the pyramids consisted of as many as four staircases one for each side, others had a mere two on each side. The point was that when the priests or kings performed their rituals, they ascended the Pyramid from the staircases, which was a symbol of rising from earth to heaven. Obviously they would start from the ground and make their way up to the temple top, on the top was a constructed smaller building. Also situated somewhere in the middle was a platform that would connect the staircases, the priest or king would rest there and perform part of the ritual before continuing to the peak of the Pyramid.
Pyramids built as burial places were not just built for kings and priets but were also built specially for those with higher power. There were a certain Mayan Pyramid like construction. Normally these burial chambers contained treasures such as Jade.
These Pyramid like constructions could been seen above the tops of the jungle, they served as landmarks for the Mayan Civilization. It was also a reminder to the people that the Ancient Gods were also present!
The Pyramids also held symbolization for mountains, like thier temples held symbolization for something very different, according to historians the temples were a symbol to the caves that led to the underworld, while the doorways were representative of the mouths of monsters, and hence were embellished accordingly. The Mayan people had a great reputation of being keen astronomers, therefore using their pyramid structures as observatories. As well as religion, period of time and customs to each region, it was said that the pyramids were built accordingly serving the variety of functions and purposes.
There was no aids of help taken when building these hugh structures, not domestically anyway, no animals or wheels which had not been invented then. It was also not common to use metal tools, thi swas because it was common in the region of which they inhibited.
The tools they made use of were made of quartize, granite, limestone, and flint on stone, tools used for example were fire axes and basalt axes. To correctly judge the vertical accuracy tools like plumb bob were used.
Given below are some of the great townships that were built during the 1, 500 years that the Mayans had flourished in the expanses of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and in the verdant jungles of Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala, in which they built their distinctive pyramids, like Chichen Itza, Tulum, Uxmal, Tikal, Cholula, Copan, and Calacmul.
Its massive pyramids, including the enormous El Castillo pyramid which contains a jaguar throne, have wonderful murals and carvings. Dedeicated to the rain God, a natural well is found, it was used for making human sacrifices!
Tikal: Covering 60 squares miles and located in Guatemala lays the laregst city of the Mayan people. The Temple Pyramid, being the largest out of many of the Mayan Pyramids, boasts 230 feet in height. It was said for these pyramids to have been built from the period of the 7th century and headin out of the early part of the 9th century.
Uxmal: This was regarded as the most beautiful of the Mayan populated cities, given again its location in Mexico. It has the 'Pyramid of Magician'. Ithas been given its distinctive individuality as it is the only one with an oval base, instead of the usual square or rectangular shape. It provides us with fantsic breath taking views from the Pyramis terraces, also genrously offering us wonderful acoustics. The other numerous, temple Pyramids, monuments and quadrangles are given some considerable size, and are in various degrees of preservation.
Cholula: This Pyramid without doubt has earnt its right to be given the name 'the great pyramid of cholula'. It was conisdered to be the largest of them all including the Great Pyramid of Egypt, making it really the largest in the world. Later, however, another pyramid found in the ruins of El Mirador, in Guatemala, known as the Danta Pyramid has overtaken it by size, measuring up to 230 feet in height. However the main Pyramid of Cholula is very big, given a base covering 25 acres of land! As now it has the look of of being a natural hill with a church on its peak, Mayan Pyramids are similarly covered by earth and are given a catholic church to surmount on them.
Calakmul: Also known as Kalakmul, this is one of the largest amongst the ancient Mayan cities that have been discovered. It is situated in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, 30 km from the border of Guatemala, in the Petén jungles. The name of this city means ‘City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids.’
During their astonishing time of inhibitation, they built many more Mayan Pyramids of various sizes and fame in all their ancient cities. The presence of these wonderful structures reminds us chilingly of their former presence and disappearence of their own civilization. It was said to have been in the 10th century period when the civilization left the mysteries of themselves to the world history. Rightly earned recently these fabulous Pyramids have yet again stolen the attentions of the world and have been given the name as one of the most new seven wonders of the world!
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