Mayan Civilisation: Unprecedented Constructions

the world is mysterious

Like many other ancient civilisations, such as the Greeks and Egyptians, the Maya have astonished millions with their unique and spectacular style of architecture. Spanning several thousand years, the Maya built large cities from their growth and power from their religious and bureaucratic practices. One city in particular, Chichen Itza, is Mexico’s largest tourist destination for an archaeological site with an estimated 1.2 million visitors each year!

Images of Chichen Itza

One of the most noticeable creations of the Maya are their distinctive stepped pyramids. These pyramids were built to dedicate deity’s, whose shrine sat on the peak of the pyramid, some towering over two-hundred feet tall, for example El Mirador. Like other marvelling constructions, its amazing how this ancient civilisation could build such amazing infrastructures. Something that can be speculated to be unimaginable in today’s age with our technology, theoretical knowledge and practices.

El Mirador Jaguar temple

El Mirador

In addition, to housing…

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Meeting Maximón, Guatemala’s Mischievous Mayan Folk Saint

Wow! Substantially deeper than Loch Ness at 227m

Off the Road

Lake Atitlán is one of Guatemala’s prime tourist destinations, along with the jungle ruins of Tikal and the volcano-ringed colonial town of Antigua. Atitlán is a large, beautiful lake, recognized as Central America’s deepest with a depth reaching 340 metres. It is surrounded by verdant hills, majestic volcanoes, and picturesque villages inhabited by largely indigenous Mayan people. While most tourists tend to stay in the largest town and transportation hub of Panajachel, one of Lake Atitlán’s quirkiest and most interesting sights lies in the smaller community of Santiago Atitlán, a long but undeniably scenic boat ride away from Panajachel on the opposite side of the lake.

lake_atitlan_inguat_b

Santiago Atitlán is home to Maximón, a malicious saint worshipped in indigenous communities across Western Guatemala. His present-day form is derived from the pre-Columbian Mayan god Mam, with influences from the Spanish conquistadors and the Roman Catholic Church (although the latter does not endorse the worship of…

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Sublime Alchemy

A couple of years ago I came across Tania William’s website ‘Sublime Alchemy’, and indeed it is. I clicked into her website today to check out her recent work, and was not disappointed. Her Mayan & Mesoamerican Gallery is worth the click. The colours are vibrant, the portrayals intriguing. The feature piece “Conversations in Mayan”, Acrylic on Paper, I personally think this is outstanding and would love to own it.

Two months ‘Til Doomsday?

Yesterday, I read Stephanie Pappas’s article ‘Two months ‘Til Doomsday? Yesterday was the 21st October 2012, an auspicious date for those who believe that the end of the Mayan calendar indicates the end of the world. Whilst Ms Pappas is pointing out the doomsday predictions; she also reassures her audience by providing a link to the space.com site and the article ‘Don’t Panic! 2012 Doomsday Myths Debunked by NASA.’ And indeed NASA does debunk the myths related to planetary alignment, collisions, and solar storms; myths that appear to be within the area of expertise of the unnamed NASA scientists. Other popular doomsday fears include nuclear war, infection, aliens, zombies and robots. According to Charles Choi, who also contributes to LiveScience, strategies exist to combat some of the threats to mankind including cosmic impact and nuclear attacks. Perhaps it is the threat of what mankind can do to itself that we need to fear, not what nature may do to the planet.

According to ‘a recent poll’ an astounding 10% of people around our planet worry that the world it is going to end on 21st December. The ‘recent poll’ does not inform the reader of the demographic of the poll, or the sampling mechanisms used. Hmmm! And, of course, there are the websites that are making money out of the topic. One website, for example, has an ‘official’ countdown of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, it reaps advertising benefits, and also redirects the reader to a website that sells Global Sun ovens, emergency survival food supplies, anti Radiation tablets, and many more survival tools and kits that are displayed under the site heading “2012 Survival Supplies – Everything needed to survive 2012.” Phew, glad that I discovered this site!

However, if the experts consider it to be a true threat, I would expect to read and listen to more on the subject. One can search on new age sites, some religious sites, and sites with a particular interest in the Mayan calendar, information is certainly available; but it does not seem to be particularly newsworthy. I feel comforted that the media do not, as yet, consider it to be front-page news.

21st December, 2012 will pass like any other ordinary day; Christmas will follow, and a new year will begin. If not, who is going to contradict me?