Chichén Itzá: One of the platform temples



Site of Pre-Columbian Maya and Toltec city in the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico. It flourished during the Post-Classic period (ca. 900-1521 CE). Chichén Itzá (‘mouth of the well of the Itzá’) is named after its ‘Sacred Cenote’, a natural limestone sinkhole that served as a focus for pilgrimages and sacrificial offerings. Close artistic correspondences between Chichén Itzá and Tula in Hidalgo have suggested that the Central-Highland Mesoamericans invaded Yucatán and forced the local Maya to construct buildings and carve sculptures featuring their own forms and motifs. Central Mexican architectural elements include colonnaded structures, serpent columns and balustrades, and walls with sloping base sections. Sculptures show a preference for serial group arrangements and narrative compositions. Warrior figures with ‘pillbox’ headdresses, butterfly pectorals and atlatls (spearthrowers) are prominent, along with depictions of warrior animal totems (jaguars and eagles), chacmools (reclining offertory figures) and Central Mexican gods such as Tezcatlipoca and Tlalchitonatiuh.


Attribute NameValues
  • G. Massiot & cie

  • Architecture

  • Temples

Date Created
  • 1910-01-01

Date Digitized
  • 2007-01-01

Cultural Context
  • Maya

  • Postclassic

  • Mesoamerican

  • Toltec

Place of Creation
  • +20.6829-88.56865

  • Chichén Itzá

  • Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico: Northern center of the Yucatan pennisula

Departments and Units
Member of
Temporal Coverage
  • before or circa 1910

Record Visibility Public
Content License


Collections Featuring this Image
Architectural Lantern Slides of Mexico


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