Monday, February 12, 2007

Chichen Itza

Hello again! For the entertainment of Tommaso and others, here are photos (some seen before) from trips in Yucatan. This was taken the top of the big pyramid in Chichen Itza, what someone looks like after spending the night on a bus to get here. I am in the little doorway on top of this.

The Yucatan is largely rain forest yet has no rivers, lakes or large bodies of water. The meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs impacted here, creating Chicxulub crater. This 65 million-year old crater was only discovered in 1990, but it has left the ground very spongy. Rainwater is directly absorbed by the ground, creating enormous sinkholes or cenotes. Chichen Itza is built near one of the biggest, 50 metres in diameter. The cenotes lead to a vast system of underground rivers, leading all the way to the sea. Our lives have been affected by Space in many ways, some still undiscovered.

It is possible to go cave diving in the cenotes, but this is very dangerous and should only be done with a guide. For many years there were rumours of skeletons lurking down there. Those were dismissed as ghost stories until someone brought a skeleton to the surface. It was dated at 13,000 years old, the oldest human remains found in the Americas! This has forced revision of theories about human migration. Human nature is to seek new worlds.

Above is the view from that (West) side of the pyramid. Down there is the Ball Court and Temple of the Jaguar. To be a Mayan, it helps to stay in shape.

Visible from the back (East) side is the Temple of the Warriors, also called the Hall of a Thousand Columns. Watch out for that first step!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


about your GM = t c^3 paper,

I know someone who can give you endorsement to post on the arXiv. contact me at:

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,

I am entertained indeed! Nice pictures. For sure the night in the bus does not show!

I doubt I will make it to Chichen Itza though, because traveling with small kids is a pain (Ilaria is just turning 4 now).


7:34 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thank you, Count. That is wonderful, Tommaso. You will find many things to entertain children in the Yucatan. (Climbing the pyramid is not required.)

3:15 PM  

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