Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

Chichen Itza was a big pre-Columbian city constructed by the Maya people of the Post Classic. The archaeological place is situated in the city of Tinum, in the Mexican state of Yucatán.

Chichen Itza was a main central point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early section of the Early Postclassic era. The site shows a huge number of architectural techniques, meaningful of methods seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Maya lowlands.

The occurrence of central Mexican methods was once thought to have been representative of straight migration or even invasion from central Mexico, but most modern interpretations view the existence of these non-Maya methods more as the outcome of cultural distribution.

Chichen Itza was one of the biggest Maya cities and it was expected to have been one of the imaginary big cities, or Tollans, demoted to in afterwards Mesoamerican fiction. The town may have had the most different residents in the Maya world, a reason that could have donated to the range of architectural styles at the site.

 Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico.  The northern Yucatán Peninsula is arid, and the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of the two cenotes, the “Cenote Sagrado” or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the most famous. 

According to post-Conquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery and incense, as well as human remains. A study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice. 

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 2 million tourists in 2016.