Archeologists working on the Chichen Itza site reported that the Kukulkan Pyramid or the great Temple of Kukulkan is much more complex than the previous study showed.
Employing high-tech and non-invasive techniques, a team of scientists discovered that the Kukulkan pyramid contains two smaller pyramids, its construction being similar to Russian nesting dolls.
Also known as El Castillo (the castle), a name given by the Spanish conquistadors, this monument attributed to the feathered serpent Kukulkan was constructed during the 9th and the 12th century.
The Kukulkan Pyramid is a step structure, very similar to other edifices from around the globe such the Great Ziggurat of Ur, from southern Iraq, the pyramid of Djoser, from Egypt, the Nsude pyramids from the ancient Nigerian town of Igboland, and mound of Monte D’Accoddi, from Sardinia, which dates back to the Copper Age.
Kukulkan’s Temple was described for the first in 1566, in a manuscript written by Friar Diego de Landa. The manuscript which bears the name of ‘Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan’ (Yucatan at the Time of The Spanish Conquest). Apart from describing the great Kukulkan site, friar’s de Landa manuscript also contains Mayan words and phrases.
But it was only until the 20th century when scientists really began to understand the complexities of this great monument. Measuring approximately 30 meters in height, the Kukulkan pyramid features multiple square terraces, connected by long stairways made out of limestone.
Each stairway has 91 steps, which means that the Kukulkan Pyramid has 364 stairs in total.The number of steps represents the number of days of the old Mayan calendar.
In 1931, an archeological expedition revealed, that the tall structure was built upon another one. In addition, the recent study proved that there aren’t only two pyramids, but three.
Using intense light bursts, the archeologists managed to map the interior or the temple without causing any damage. The results clearly prove that the Kukulkan pyramid is very similar to a Russian nesting doll.
According to the recent estimates, it seems that the smaller pyramid was built in 550-800 AD. In addition, the same results show that the middle part of the Kukulkan Pyramid was erected between 800 and 1000 AD, while the top part between 1050 and 1300 AD.
Researchers catalog these findings as essentials to understanding the original Maya culture before it came into contact with the inhabits of Central Mexico.
Image source: Wikipedia