Ermak Travel Guide


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History of Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Mayan archeological site map







Little is known about history of Chichen Itza and its origins. Its role as major regional centre is approximately dated from the Late Classic to Early Post-classic period. Unlike many other Mayan cities, Chichen Itza was not governed by a single ruler. Instead all decisions were made by a counsel of elders.


Most of buildings in the southern part of the city were build by Maya between 700 AD and 900 AD. Temple of Kukulkan, Temple of Warriors and Ball Court were build later and show Toltec influence. Cultural diffusion brought new styles to Chichen Itza, new deities and of course human sacrifices on an unprecedented scale. Artifacts found on the size indicate that Chichen Itza was centre of wide trade web from North Mexico to Panama. Historians are uncertain reasons and time of the decline of this metropolis. Some evidences indicate that overpopulation and subsequent starvation caused the city to decline by 1000 AD. Other sources blame the downfall to rebellion and civil war that broke out in 1221. Burned ceiling over Temple of the Warriors and Great Market certainly suggest this course of violent actions. Regardless that was the core reason for such decline or combination of such Chichen Itza never recovered. Although it was not fully abandoned and temple were used for worship of old Gods until arrival of the Spaniards, no new monuments were build. In 1531 conquistador Francisco de Montejo tried to turn Chichen Itza into a new capitol of the Spanish province. Maya rebellion cancelled these plans and drove him out of Yucatan peninsula.








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