Maya pyramids

Maya pyramids

The Maya civilization built large palaces, temples, pyramids and other structures. Their buildings are decorated with carvings and statues to honour their gods and kings, as well as to show status to nearby cities.

The Maya built two types of pyramids. Both types had similar attributes, like the familiar pyramid shape, steep steps, and were both built for religious purposes. One type of pyramid was meant to be climbed by priests. Major religious ceremonies would be held on top of these pyramids. The other type of pyramid was sacred, and not to be climbed, or even touched, by humans. The steps on these were usually made too steep for people to climb without putting in a high amount of effort. Inside these pyramids were secret doors, tunnels and traps, keeping the pyramid too complex for a human, thus godly.

Three infamous pyramids discovered are El Castillo, Temple IV and Le Danta.

El Castillo lays in the ruins of Chichen Itza, and was made for the god Kukulkan. It measures approximately 30,5 meters (100 feet). The Maya saw Kukulkan as a snake serpent, and believed him to have created three versions of mankind, two of which failed, and one of which was them. This matches their writings of time having started 3 times over since the beginning of time.

File:El Castillo.jpg

Image source. Accessed on 28/11/2014

Temple IV lays in Tikal. It measures approximately 70,1 meters (230 feet), and is part of the city’s many pyramids. This one was built to mark the ruling period of the king Yik’in Chan K’awiil. It’s built with a rectangular base. The long axis runs from North to South. The pyramid body consists of seven stepped levels with slanted walls and multiple corners, and was built upon a supporting platform measuring 144×108 meters (472×354 feet). This platform has rounded corners and two levels. Two platforms were constructed at the top of the pyramid, on which the summit shrine was built. The shrine has been partially restored with walls up to 12 meters (39 feet) thick. The roof comb is a little under 13 meters (42-43 feet) and has three levels. The bulk of the roof comb was lightened by interior rooms, with four being built into each level.

Image source. Accessed on 28/11/2014.

Image source. Accessed on 28/11/2014.

La Danta lays in the ruins of El Mirador, and is thought to be the largest pyramid in volume in the world. It measures 76 meters (250 feet) in height, and has a volume of 2.8 million cubic meters. Its architecture is characterized by a triadic structure composed of one large pyramid supported by two shorter pyramids; one on each side. The smaller structures have jaguar and vulture heads built into the sides, and the colossal height of the pyramid offered a brilliant view over to other nearby Maya cities.

Image source. Accessed on 28/11/2014.

El Mirador, Guatemala.

Image source. Accessed on 28/11/2014.