10 Mayan Secret Places That Were Hidden for Centuries

10 Mayan Secret Places That Were Hidden for Centuries



The Mayan civilization is full of secrets. Even experts have been baffled by their highly
sophisticated writing system, their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, and the amazing
architectural marvels they managed to create without any modern equipment. Well, how they managed to create them is a
matter of discussion, but let’s not get into that. Instead, let me show you some of these marvelous
architectural accomplishments, and then you can plan a trip to the mystical land of the
Mayas. 1. Temple of KuKULkan, Chichen Itza
Built sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries CE as a temple to the Mayan serpent God KuKULkan,
this structure was almost completely hidden in the forest and partially covered in vegetation
when it was first photographed in 1880. The pyramid-like structure consists of a series
of square terraces with stairways on each of the four sides that lead to the top of
the temple. Each of the staircases has 91 steps, and when
combined with the topmost temple platform make a total of 365 steps, the same as the
number of days in a year. Whether that was by design or is just a lucky
coincidence, we might never know. However, what we do know is that all the unimaginable
engineering that went into the erection of this monument produces an illusion that seems
like magic. During the autumn equinox and the vernal equinox,
one can see a snake-like shadow crawling on the pyramid's balustrade. It moves upwards in March and downwards in
September. The illusion goes on for almost 3 hours and
attracts thousands of tourists. If you thought the serpent illusion was the
only great feat achieved by the ancient architects, you’re wrong. The pyramid hides another secret. Below the upper layers of stones lies another
smaller sized pyramid, and under it a third pyramid also. 2. The Balancanché caves
This place isn’t included on the classic tourist route, but given how awesome the atmosphere
is inside, you wouldn’t want to miss it! The name translates to "the cave of the sacred
jaguar throne." By Jaguars, they mean Mayan leaders, not the
spotted feline like you might have guessed. These mesmerizing caves were first discovered
by two American archaeologists in 1905 and have since then stirred curiosity. In 1954, a local guide named José Humberto
Gómez unexpectedly stumbled upon a secret wall. He was curious about what was behind it, so
he started removing the stones until there was a gap large enough for him to crawl through. Beyond the wall he found several passageways,
all of which seemed to end in dead-ends. Undeterred, he continued his pursuit. As luck would have it, he finally found a
passageway that led him to a cave. And what he found there was astonishing. Being the native that he was, he immediately
recognized the huge stalactite and stalagmite formations inside as representing the sacred
tree of the Mayans. He had, by chance, discovered the Mayan World
Tree or Mayan Tree of Life, as we know it today. 3. Cenote Ik Kil
This sinkhole is located in the Yucatán State of Mexico. And boy, believe me, this place is otherworldly. While the Mayans used this site as a place
for performing rituals, today tourists can be seen swimming. Vines from the top of the opening reach all
the way down to the water, along with many small waterfalls. You don’t have to worry about being hungry
or finding a place to change clothes after all the fun in the water. This place has a restaurant, a changing room
and cottages for rent. 4. Nohoch Mul Pyramid
The Chichen Itza's KuKULkan Pyramid has been closed for climbing since an accident in 2006. So if you think your trip will be incomplete
without climbing a pyramid, then this 137-feet (42 m) high pyramid is the place you should
visit. If you aren’t afraid of heights and can
muster the energy to climb its 130 steep steps to the top, you’ll be able to get a remarkable
view of the Yucatán, along with the non-public areas of Coba, including two lagoons: Macanxoc
Lagoon to the east and Cobá Lagoon to the southwest. 5. Ancient city Tulum
It’s the only Mayan city on the shore of the Caribbean Sea, located 39 feet (12 m)
up on the cliffs of the Yucatan peninsula. This well-preserved Mayan city was one of
the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya. According to experts, the original name of
the city might have been Zama, which means the City of Dawn, which is appropriate since
it faces the sunrise. The three most popular structures in the city
are: El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God. Unlike other Mayan cities, Tulum was surrounded
by impermeable walls that protected the city from the attacks of nomadic tribes from the
north. Thanks to these walls, the city managed to
survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. This place is not just ideal for tourists
seeking to soak in Mayan history, but also for lovers of nature. A large number of sinkholes are located in
the Tulum area, such as: Maya Blue, Naharon, Temple of Doom, Tortuga, Vacaha, Grand Cenote,
Abejas and Nohoch Kiin. 6. Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal
The tallest and the most recognizable structure in Uxmal is also known by other names, like
the Pyramid of the Dwarf, Casa el Adivino, and the Pyramid of the Soothsayer. Like many other pyramids, this too is at the
center of many mythological stories. I’ll tell you two that concern its various
names. According to one legend, a magician named
Itzamna, single-handedly erected the pyramid in just one night, using his magic and might. According to another, the city of Uxmal was
destined to fall to a boy who was not born of a woman when a certain gong was to be struck. One day the gong was struck by a dwarf who
was hatched from an egg laid by a childless, old woman. The sound of the gong struck fear into the
city's ruler, and he ordered the dwarf to be executed. The ruler later took back his decision and
promised to spare the dwarf’s life if he could perform three seemingly impossible tasks. One of the tasks was to build a massive pyramid,
taller than any building in the city, in a single night. The dwarf ultimately completed all the tasks,
including the construction of the pyramid. And therefore, he was spared. Tourists visiting this site can also watch
a sound and light show, presented in both English and Spanish, every evening. 7. Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque
This temple was built as a tomb for King Pakal, the ruler of Palenque in the 7th century. Construction of this monument started in the
last decade of his life and was finally completed by his son and successor. The inner walls of the temple are inscribed
with about 600 hieroglyphs, some of which are yet to be deciphered. A hall with three chambers is located at the
top of the pyramid. In 1949, one of the chambers revealed a sacred
passage to the ruler's tomb, filled with ancient treasures and artifacts. Pakal’s death mask is an extraordinary artifact,
made entirely of jade, with eyes crafted out of shells, mother of pearl, and obsidian. If you want to see it with your own eyes,
then you should know that there’s a catch. Tourists aren't allowed to enter the tomb. But don’t get disheartened; you can see
an exact copy exhibited in The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico. 8. The Mayan city of Yaxchilan
Located not far from Palenque, the ancient city, Yaxchilan, was one of the most powerful
states in the Mayan empire. The city is known for its well-preserved stone
ornamentation above the doorways of the main structures known as lintels. These lintels contain hieroglyphic texts that
give insights into the history of the city. Until recently, it was difficult to reach
the site other than by river or by air. No roads existed within 100 miles. This changed after the construction of the
Border Highway by the Mexican Government in the early 1980s. Since then, these ruins have had a steady
influx of tourists. 9. The murals of Bonampak
This city, located near Yaxchilan, might not be overly impressive, but it more than makes
up for it with the murals located in the Temple of the Murals. The first non-Mayans to discover the site
were American travelers Herman Charles Frey and John Bourne, who were led to the ruins
by a local Maya who still visited the ancient temples. The murals depict the Mayan rulers, dancing
people, musicians, battles, and acts of sacrifice. According to Professor Mary Miller, who specializes
in Mayan art, no other artifacts from the Mayan times offer a better glimpse of the
society than the Bonampak paintings. 10. The Temple of the Great Jaguar, Tikal
This temple is located at the heart of a World Heritage Site and is surmounted by a characteristic
roof comb that’s distinctive of Maya architecture. The temple was built as a funerary temple,
and in the year 1962, archaeologists were finally able to locate the tomb of the ruler
who built it. The body of the king was covered with large
quantities of jade ornaments, including an enormous necklace with 114 especially large
beads, weighing about 9 lb (4 kg). On December 21, 2012, as part of the celebration
of the end-date of the Mayan calendar, modern Maya held a fire ceremony in front of the
temple; more than 3,000 people participated. Pretty cool, huh? So which Mayan site tickled the hidden archaeologist
within you? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go anywhere just
yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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25 thoughts on “10 Mayan Secret Places That Were Hidden for Centuries

  1. Amazed that native south american( or whatever) people's and history….suppressed by the Spanish European catholic dominance to this day….

  2. Did the inside stair's extremely hot and humid even the Walls sweat. Did the outside to before the it was restricted. A must destination.

  3. I love the history of the Maya, but these videos are so slanted and bias. I studied for 2 seasons as a junior archaeologist in Tulum Mexico. This video makes it out to be that the Maya civilization came or is from one country only, Mexico, which is untrue. I've been to a lot of ancient Mayan cities in mexico, Guatemala, Belize and hopefully one day I'll make it to Honduras, and El salvador. Notice how on the last site they mentioned, Tikal, but they don't mention it is in Guatemala, yet on the other sites they do say it is in mexico. I'm from S. Korea, so I'm neutral on this subject. I can tell you true facts about the Maya, because I've been studying this subject for 10 years now….The tallest and biggest Maya pyramid is found in what today is the country of Guatemala called La Danta, the oldest Pyramid also in Guatemala, the story of the Maya creation is found in the base of the La Danta Pyramid, the oldest Mayan cities in Guatemala, the original of the Maya can be dated to 1,400-1,600 BC in Guatemala, , the first Maya hieroglyphics are found in Guatemala, the original name of kukulcan was Gukumatz in Guatemala oldest Mayan cities, largest stela are in Guatemala, the first Maya ruler was from one of the oldest cities in Guatemala, the 2 largest Mayan cities where in Guatemala, anyone who truly has studied the Maya knows all this and more. Let's give credit to who or country that deserves it which is Guatemala, where Maya civilization began and still thrives today. Chichen Itza in Mexico is a beautiful pyramid but this pyramid came more than a thousand years later than where the original Maya originated from.

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