"Sixty-five million years ago a giant, six-mile wide extinction-level object crossed into the Earth's atmosphere at an incredible high rate of speed. So huge was the object that rather than burn up or disintegrate as it raced toward the Earth's surface it basically held together with no more than a little shedding and dissipation of heat. Within seconds of entering the Earth's thickening lower atmosphere it slammed into a shallow sea in what is now the north coast of the Yucatan, Mexico with a force comparable to 100 million megatons of TNT. The resulting impact created a crater 112 miles across and a tsunami wave two thousand feet high that swept as far north inland as the middle of present day Texas. The results of the impact caused the demise of entire species, including, it is said, the dinosaurs. Ground zero for the asteroid is pretty much considered now days to be centered near the small Yucatan city of Chicxulub."
Starting 56 miles west of the coastal community of Chicxulub and following in a circular half-circumference inland directly along the crater's outer ring until it turns north and touches the coast again 56 miles east of Chicxulub, are hundreds and hundreds of cenotes, but very few inside of the ring. So too, even though quite a number of small archaeological sites indicating the presence of casual or regular human habitation exists throughout the general northwest region, there are really only two so called first-ranked sites and five second-ranked sites located within the Chicxulub impact basin, of which one is the Maya city of Dzibilchaltun, located about 10 miles from present day Merida with the other being the last Mayan capitol following the fall of Chichen Itza, Mayapan, which sits roughly 10 miles inside the southwestern portion of the ring.
Immediately outside the crater basin rim there is one first-ranked site, Uxmal, and six second-ranked sites with Oxkintok sitting right on top of the rim. Because of that sitting right on the rim, Oxkintok played a huge role in my life as found in The Maya Shaman and Chicxulub, of which from the above opening quote is found. The large cenotes located all along or near the trough marking the ring feature itself does not appear to have been particularly attractive for settlement.
As for the above mentioned Maya city of Dzibilchaltun, I had been around and close to it on a number of occasions, but was never able to work out going there specifically, especially associated with the Spring Equinox, until one day I made an actual concerted effort to do so. It seems that I had included any number of Maya sites, ruins, and temples in my repertoire of travels wrapped around Spring Equinoxes and such --- and of which doing so, as almost anybody can figure out, makes it very difficult to include more than one site on any given equinox. However, as the quote below attests, I made a specific effort to be in Dzibilchaltun on a planned trip to Tikal completely designing my timing around being there for the equinox.
"The first half of my plan was to eliminate any long distant ground transportation when I left the U.S., going as quickly and as efficiently as possible to Tikal after a slight detour flying into the Yucatan Peninsula city of Merida in order to be at the Temple of the Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltun at the moment of the Spring Equinox."
With the Seven Dolls equinox having passed I took a flight from Merida into Guatemala City then from there to Tikal. It was only after I reached Tikal that I truly switched to ground transportation. From Tikal I made my way to Carmalita then in a circular route hiked through the jungle four or five days to the Maya ruins of El Mirador and a handful of other Maya sites both to and from. After returning to Carmalita I dropped down to Flores - Santa Elena headed toward the Guatemala Belize border, using the only real basic available options, junk-pile dilapidated former U.S. school buses, crammed from one end to the other with people, chickens, and one gallon plastic jugs filled with kerosene. At Melchor de Mencos I walked across the border into Benque Viejo del Carmen and took a bus to San Ignacio returning at my own pace to Belize City and home. My own pace however, was impacted by a whole series of high profile events from ancient asteroids to Maya shamans, all of which, for those who may be so interested, are pretty much covered in Travels in the Yucatan.
Below is a series of photos related to the Spring Equinox and the Temple of the Seven Dolls located in the Maya archaeological site of Dzibilchaltun, so named as the Temple of the Seven Dolls because of the seven figures as shown at the top of the page that were found inside the temple during excavation.
(for the very moment of the sunrise please click image)
The Temple of the Seven Dolls as we see it today was discovered basically intact after archaeologists found it buried under a much larger temple. The buried temple, the Temple of the Seven Dolls as it has come to be called when seven ritual like clay figurine "dolls" were found within the structure, after careful evaluation, was determined to be the more important of the two structures because as the scientists studied the temple more closely it's layout seemed to suggest it was actually designed so it could and would mark the equinoxes, a highly significant measurement of time and a major coup for the Maya considering it's early age.
TEMPLE BUILDING IS BUILT IN A SQUARE WITH FOUR MATCHING SIDES
EACH WALL FACES DIRECTLY TOWARD A DIFFERENT CARDINAL POINT
The temple building itself is built dimensionally in a square and sits atop a much wider two terrace-high stepped square platform with each one of the four sides of the building facing toward one of the cardinal points. However, for reasons unknown, unlike the building that sits atop them, neither the platform nor the stairs are aligned with the cardinal points. To show how the early Maya architects struggled with their problem to capture the equinox in a permanent building like structure, the north-south axial line of the platform runs about 4 degrees east of true north. If you take notice of the architectural drawing below showing a top view of the temple building, the platform, as visually presented and taking the top of the computer screen as being north, it is tipped at 4 degrees.
In the drawing you can see how the temple is placed on the platform with each of the four flat walls and each of the four door openings separately facing toward one of the cardinal points. At the top of the drawing the door and the wall of the temple faces due north while the wall and the door opening on the bottom faces due south. The door opening on the right faces the rising sun due east. On the equinox the light shines right straight through the building, including the two inner structure's door openings, directly toward the west falling onto the stelae some distance west of the temple. A close examination and comparison of both the photo of the temple and the architectural drawing below you can see in the photo that the temple is not aligned with the stairs nor are the doors aligned with the stone architectural features directly below them. The drawing shows the misalignment quite clearly. So said, the Maya, after no doubt a whole lot of frustration and hard work, were still able to get the whole thing to function properly, something they could only check and fix twice a year.
"The equinoxes are often mentioned in tandem with the solstices, apparently because, for many Western-minded modern people sharing superficial but evidently ethnocentric astronomical notions, they represent the only significant moments of the tropical year. Nobody seems to care that, while the solstices are marked by easily perceivable extremes of the Sun's annual path along the horizon, the equinoxes are not directly observable and can only be determined with relatively sophisticated methods."
ANCIENT COSMOLOGIES AND MODERN PROPHETS
THE GRAPHIC ABOVE SHOWS THE WEST FACING WALL. IF YOU WERE STANDING FACING THE WALL AS YOU ARE LOOKING
AT IT NOW, WEST WOULD BE BEHIND YOU WHILE EAST WOULD BE DIRECTLY THROUGH THE DOOR AND THE SKY BEYOND
TRAVELS IN THE YUCATAN
ASTEROIDS, SHAMANS, AND THE HIDDEN MAGIC OF MAYA TEMPLES
ALTUN HA'S SACRIFICIAL ALTAR AND THE CHICXULUB IMPACT
(please click image)
HISTORY OF THE MAYA
THE SUN DAGGER
THE INCIDENT AT SUPAI
MAYA SHAMAN AND CHICXULUB
MAYA RUINS AND THE SPRING EQUINOX
THE SPIRITUAL ELDER AND THE SANTA FE CHIEF
DZIBILCHATUN: EVERYTHING YOU WILL EVER NEED TO KNOW
TIME TRAVEL: MEETING YOURSELF
THE BEST OF
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