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Free images of Mexico - Kohunlich - Maya Ruins - Page 5

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All Mayan sites of importance contain a Ball Court, and the same is true at Kohunlich.  It is believed that the Ball Game had great symbolic content that was probably related to the notions of the Under-world and to sacrificial rites.

 

Ball Court at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 57 Ball Court ("I" on Map) 
Quite narrow in size, the trees, obviously, would not have been growing in the middle 
during Mayan times.  The rings through which the ball would have been tossed are missing here, 
but would have been attached to the two structures on either side of the court.  

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Ball Court at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 53 Ball Court ("I" on Map) 
Another view of the Ball Court.  It is believed that the slanted portion on which the tree is now
growing was at one time covered with stucco.  Those viewing the game would have been
perched atop the stands running along the back right of the photo. 

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Sacrificial altar at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 49 
It is thought that the loser (or winner) of the Ball Game was sacrificed on this Altar.

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Sacrificial altar at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 50 
It is thought that the loser (or winner) of the Ball Game was sacrificed on this Altar.

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Kohunlich is best known for its Temple of the Masks, estimated to have been built around 500 AD.  It is one of the oldest structures at the site.  After wandering through the amazing sights of this archaeological site, one comes upon a large pyramid with a central stairway.  On either side, at ascending elevations, are large stucco masks.  As with most Temple constructions, the original temple (Temple 1) was built over by new construction (Temple 2), protecting the masks below.  There is only a small portion of the 2nd Temple left, being the lower portion of the stairs.  The protection of the 2nd Temple is the reason why the masks are in such good condition now.

 

Temple of the Masks at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 63 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
Flanked by a central staircase, the masks are located on either side of the stairs.  
They have now been protected by the thatched roof.

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Temple of the Masks at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 67 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
The central staircase.

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Side view of Temple of the Masks at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 79 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
The side and back view of the Temple.  The masks are facing toward the right of the photo.

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Originally, the central staircase of the Temple of the Masks was flanked by four masks, making a total of eight.  Unfortunately, three have since been looted and only five remain.  There are several theories regarding the building of the Pyramid of the Masks.  One is that it was built in honour of the Sun God “Kinich Ahau”, another that the masks (since they all look a little different) represent Gods, the third, that the masks are the faces of the ruling members of Kohunlich.  Some of the masks are 3m high and made of stucco.  The stucco was made of a combination of crushed limestone, seashells and tree resins.  The predominant colouring seems to be red, some of which is still visible today.

A plaque at the site explains that the masks served as ornaments and look toward the sunset.  It says that they represent the members of the ruling lineage of Kohunlich, all gathered beneath the form of Kinich Ahau, Face of the Sun, one of the most important Mayan deities.

 

Masks on left side of Tempe at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 64 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
Masks on Left side of staircase.

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Masks on left side of Tempe at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 66 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
Masks on Left side of staircase.

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Masks on left side of Tempe at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 78 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
Masks on Left side of staircase.

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Mask on left side of Tempe at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 69 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) Masks on Left side of staircase.

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The lighter coloured stone (cement) around the nose and lips has been recently added in an attempt to preserve the mask.

 

Mask on left side of Tempe at Kohunlich Mexico Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich, Mexico - 73 - Temple of the Masks ("H" on Map) 
Masks on Left side of staircase.

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Kohunlich Mexico Image Pages    [1]    [2]    [3]    [4]    [5]    [6]

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