Daddy's Christmas Angel

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"X" Is For the Temple of Xtoloc at Chichen Itza

"Pathway to the Ruins" MM Sikes
For the past few weeks, as the Passenger to Paradise, I've been researching the Maya ruins in Central America. During that investigation, I came across the Temple of Xtoloc. The remains of this small temple are located on the edge of the famous cenote at Chichen Itza known an the Well of Sacrifice.

According to my research, this cenote is quite large, covering a surface of about one acre. The well was used for perhaps as long a period as 500 years and contained not only treasures but also the skeletons of people of many different ages, including children, who were sacrificed in rituals. This information came from A Guide to Ancient Maya Ruins by C. Bruce Hunter which shows a photograph of the well with the temple in the background. From the Internet, I found a description saying that there are actually two cenotes at Chichen Itza and that the one the temple is on is not the sacrificial one but may have served as the source of fresh water supply for the people.

Chichen Itza is a Maya ruins site we visited a few years ago. The well was one of the locations on our tour. I later created a large series of paintings from photographs taken of the many excavated buildings. The painting on the right is one of the series. I made a very large painting of the Well of Sacrifice but not of the Temple of Xtoloc.

Jungle Jeopardy, my WIP set in the jungles of Central America, includes exploration of some of the Maya ruins. Copan in Honduras, where many of the most intriguing ruins are found, may have been settled as long ago as 2000 BC. Stela B, a large stone carving found at Copan, contains images some people believe are elephants. Sad we know so little of the true history of this part of our world.

Have you visited any of the Maya ruins? If so, what was your reaction?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti .. good X .. and I'd love to visit the Mayan sites .. must be so beautiful there .. the artefacts are exquisite, let alone the buildings etc ..

Their culture was incredible and so sophisticated ..

Thanks - enjoyed this .. Hilary

Monti said...

Thanks, Hilary. People can spend a lifetime studying just one of these ruins sites. You're right, their culture was incredible. I wish we knew more...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They threw the bodies in the well? That's wild!

RaShelle said...

I haven't ever visited the Mayan ruins. Love to, though.

BTW, I really like the title of you WIP Jungle Jeopardy. Fun!

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