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Mayan History (Part 55): Dzibilchaltun

Dzibilchaltun is in the north of Yucatán, about 22km from the sea.

The site may have been chosen to be as close as possible to the coastal salt-producing region.  The terrain between Dzibilchaltun and the sea is bare rock & mangrove swamps, not really suitable for habitation.  Dzibilchaltun’s soil is fertile & habitable enough.

Also, Cenote Xlakah may have been a factor in the choice of site, as it provides clean drinking water.  It was also used as the centre of a religious cult.

The site was continously occupied for 1000’s of years – apparently as far back as 1000 BC.  However, its size fluctuated during that time, between medium-sized city & small town.

The most famous structure is the Temple of the Seven Dolls, connected to the rest of the site by a sacbe.  It is called that because 7 small effigies were found when the temple was discovered.

Temple of the Seven Dolls.

There is also a ruined church, built by the Spanish in the 1500′s.

The church.

Mayan History (Part 57): Tulum

Tulum is on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.  It was built on 12m-high cliffs.

During the Postclassic Period [950-1200], Tulum was a major port for the city of Cobá, further inland.  It had walls (unlike most Mayan cities) – 6m thick in some places, and 4.5-6.0m tall.  It has five narrow openings, which can fit one person at a time.  Tulum was on trade routes both on land and sea, especially for obsidian.

Tulum was ruled over by Mayapan.  It seems to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving/Descending god.  Their population was 1,000-1,600.

The city survived for about 70 years after the Spanish arrived, which was unusual.  By the end of the 1500’s, it had been abandoned completely.

The Temple of the Frescoes was an observatory for tracking the sun’s movements.  It has a lower gallery, and a smaller 2nd-storey gallery. Its façade has depictions of the Mayan diving-god.

Temple of the Frescoes.

The Temple of the Diving God is smaller, and in the central part of the site.  It is called that because the diving-god is depicted in stucco on the western wall.

Temple of the Diving God.

El Castillo is a 7.5m-tall pyramid.  It was built in stages, on an already-existing building.  There is a small shrine, which would have been used as a beacon for incoming trade canoes.  It lines up exactly with a break in the barrier reef, through which the canoes would enter a cove and landing beach.

El Castillo.

The ruins from the air.

Looking towards the harbour.

now im thinking of caesar in alexandria and 

  • apparently he followed lessons amongst the common people from  the scientists in alexandria ( appian) 
  • told potheinus rather savagely to fuck off
  • accidentally put a warehouse of the library of alexandria on fire ( not the actual library ! ) 
  • had to spring in the water bc the smol boat he was on got overcrowded during the battle of pharos and lost his paludamentum
  • asked 17 500 000 drachmas from egypt bc of ptolemy auletes’ debts and also asked for pompeys money even if pompey was dead 
  • apparently cicero couldnt stand cleopatra lmao but thats so #cheech