General News · 10th November 2009
Carol and Richard
After a frustrating two days of trying to find transportation to the Ruins, we finally connected. A big green bus to the village of Chablecál, 6 pesos, and then a three wheeled “taxi” to the site. This was a two wheeled front covered seating area with a motorcycle and driver in the rear. The bus went like hell and the tricitaxi was slow and breezy and relaxing. We arranged for the taxi to return in 3 hours. Total miles from downtown to the site was 9.
We decided to pay for the near-full tour with a guide woman called Guadalupe, who spoke decent English. she started by walking us down the long “street” to the observatory, the Temple of the 7 Dolls. (Along the way she pointed out herb trees for Rheumatism and Stomach problems and fruit used as a diarrhetic.)
(dzee-beel-chal-TOON) in Mayan means, the place where there is writings on the stones. (all but gone by time and erosion). The site that covers several miles square was discovered only in the 1940s. It was found to span the three time zones of the Mayan culture. In fact, many of the structures were built and made taller with each era. It was the most northern of their empire and was close enough to the gulf to act as a trading centre. At one time it had a least 40,000 inhabitants.
In the picture above we see a structure that was completely covered, except for the two doorways with a “rubble” that formed a pyramid done in the post classical period. The archeologists cleared this away to present the now visible observatory. The doors face east-west and at the two equinoxes, the sun shines through both doorways at sunrise and sunset. At the solstices, it shines through the side window and out its front window, different sides for winter and summer.
The guide explained that many of the immediate buildings near this Temple were found to be classrooms for many of the sciences and professions. Sacrifice, mentioned in some sites, cannot be found, at this one, and that ritual was rumored to occur only with the melding of the Toltec culture with the Mayan.
The picture immediately below gives scale with the human figure in the doorway. The steps numbered 20, The Mayan month. The sundial structure in front (top picture) also gave evidence to the time of year by the shadow casting by the upright stone.
Going back along the two block highway we entered the collesium-theatre area, flanked by this several hundred feet stepped wall viewing structure (second picture down). In the next picture we see what the Catholic Spanish did to the large field. They stamped their church right in the middle, thus interrupting the native ritual-celebrations that were preformed there. To make matters worse, right beside the sacred waters of the “cenote”, they constructed a stable so the horses could have ample water at their own pace. Even in the stone gate structures they embedded the broken pieces of Mayan pottery to give the form to the Christian cross.
The cenote is the surface evidence of a giant underground water system. There are no surface rivers on the Yucatan. At one end it is 140 feet deep and the water lilies are a new addition. The archeologists of old put dye down the deep hole and found it connected to other cenotes and even the Gulf of Mexico. The fish within obviously travel via the underground connections as well. Skeletons were found at the bottom but no evidence of foul play. Many valuable articles were recovered from the deep suggesting the Mayan honoring their water God Chac.
PS/ The small figurines found in the Temple of the seven dolls were “mutilated”, missing arms, legs, and other deformities like a humped back. It was believed that these born as such were “favored” by the Gods and had “special” abilities and purpose.
Long viewing area for hundreds of people
Franciscan Open Area Church plunked in middle