Monday, February 9, 2009

Chichen Itza - Mexico

This is my week #2 layout for Erika Martins journaling 101 course. I did my layout on our trip to Chichen Itza in Mexico in 2006, the layout contains hidden journaling. I have hidden my journaling behind (handmande) tabs and stamped them with mayan characters (Inkum pocket stamps from Kaszazz), these fold out and expose the journaling. This trip was fantastic, one of the highlights of my journey through life :)

This is what it looks like with the tabs folded out to expose the hidden journaling. This is what the hidden journaling says on each of the fold out tabs:

El Castillo

The most awe-inspiring structure at Chichen Itza, the step pyramid known in Spanish as ‘El Castillo’ (the castle) built around 800AD. It was an amazing experience for both Hasan and I who are lovers of History. We had travelled from Australia to see one of the wonders of the world. We stood in front of this huge structure and were awestruck! The four staircases face the cardinal points, with the northern staircase having two carved snake heads at the base. Twice yearly, an optical illusion occurs at sunrise where the curving shadows cast on the staircase make it appear the snake is moving down the steps.

The Observatory

The Maya have a knowledge of astronomy that was very advanced for their time. They observed
and predicted the phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, equinoxes etc.. They achieved this
without the use of lenses for observing distant objects, instruments for calculating angles or clock
to measure the second, minutes and hours.

Stone carving

Here is Hasan standing in front of a frieze, a stone carving depicting the Mayans encounters
with the Aztecs, whom also occupied the Central Americas. It was a very hot 49C degrees
when we went to Chichen Itza. Even the Mayan people were feeling the heat! Our Mayan guide
told us they had a saying when it was that hot – “The devil is doing his ironing!”


The serpent’s head at the base of the stairs are said to represent the god Quetzalcoatl (named Kukulcan by American archaeologists.) It is a feathered serpent, depicted as a combination of quetzal bird and rattle snake.

and a close up

I surrounded the step pyramid with Mayan Glyphs on either side. Numerous features distinguish the Maya from other cultures of ancient Mesoamerica, but one that has attracted explorers, scholars, and enthusiasts for centuries is Maya Hieroglyphic Writing. The calligraphic style and pictorial complexity of Maya glyphs are like no other writing system.

Thanks for looking!


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