Ancient Mayans Digitized

eleven gods
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Mayan Gods Referenced in Each Structure

Structure Structure Type Gods Referenced in Structure Structure Description
  • Temple of "Las Pinturas"
  • Maize God
  • Hunahpu
  • Principal Bird Deity
The vegetation-covered pyramid complex at San Bartolo in Guatemala shows the mural room located at the base (bottom center) of pyramid. The room's recently excavated west wall, adorned with the earliest preserved Maya mural, abuts the edge of the pyramid. Archaeologists believe the vividly painted room, dating from around 100 B.C. and chronicling the mythology of kings and the birth of the Maya cosmos, could have been a preparation area for ceremonies that took place on the courtyard in front of the pyramid.
  • Tecolote Structure
  • Chahk
Carved with a stucco frieze showing impersonators of the Rain God, Chahk. Late Preclassic.
  • Danta Complex
complex The Danta Complex, at 230 feet tall, is essentially a giant patio group. It is thought to have housed El Mirador's royalty. The purpose of its tall stature was probably meant to exclude commoners from this elite housing area.
  • Jaguar Temple
temple This 180 ft tall structure is elaborately decorated with lime plaster and stucco depictions of jaguars. The king for whom it was built was called Great Fiery Jaguar Paw. It was probably built as a royal tomb for the Great Fiery Jaguar Paw king, but no burial was ever found within the temple.
  • Temple IV / The Two-Headed Serpent Temple
temple The 212-foot high Temple IV is the highest pyramid temple at Tikal; it towers over the rain forest. According to Maya experts, leader Yax Kin ordered the temple built around 734 AD. Climb to the summit of this temple with care, by wooden ladder and stone steps. The summit affords a panoramic view over the site, with views of the other major temples rising from the treetops. This temple is known as the Two-Headed Serpent Temple
  • Temple 11
  • Howler Monkey God
  • Spider Monkey God
Temple 11 is covered in glyphic inscriptions that describe the sacred rites that were performed within it and allude to its religious function, hence it is also known as the Temple of Inscriptions. Unfortunately, these texts are so specific to these unknown rites that they remain unreadable at present. However, the few carvings that remain attached and in situ around the building do provide enough evidence to assess its function and symbolic purpose. The most descriptive carvings are those of the so called “Howler Monkey God”. The two Howler Monkey Gods flank the stairway that rise from the West Court and have been given their name from the ape like face that they feature and what appear to be curling tails. The Howler Monkey Gods are thought to be associated with music and dance, as well as literature, and the left-hand monkey strikes a theatrical pose with what is said to be a rattle in his hand. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Temple 11 was designed as a portal for the ruler Yax Pasaj to travel between the realms of the heavens and the underworld – a power that any divine ruler should have in his possession. Unlike his predecessors, Yax Pasaj may have felt the need prove his divinity as he wasn’t part of the divine royal lineage.
  • Temple of the Jaguars
  • Kukulcan
The inner walls were once beautifully painted with Toltec battle scenes, so detailed and convincing that the artist must have been a witness to the Toltec invasion. Decades of neglect have resulted in their almost total ruin. The doorway of the Temple of the Jaguars, overlooking the ball court, depict one of two Feathered Serpant columns which support the lintel, and a door jamb with a relief figure of a Toltec warrior. Four staircases, paved on the top, where the two Dance Platforms are, whose facings are covered with themes such as eagles and jaguars eating hearts. They say that the Dance Platforms are where farces were represented, and comedies for the pleasure of the public.
  • Pyramid of Kukulcan
  • Kukulcan
According to legend, twice a year when the day and night are in balance, this pyramid dedicated to Kukulcan (or Quetzalcoatl), the feathered serpent god, is visited by its namesake. On the equinox, Kukulcan returns to earth to commune with his worshipers, provide blessing for a full harvest and good health before entering the sacred water, bathing in it, and continuing through it on his way to the underworld. A handclap near the base of the pyramidal results in an unusual chirping echo, which is said to replicate the call of the sacred quetzal bird.All legends aside, crafty and mathematically brilliant architecture combined with the natural rotation of the Earth creates an amazing and somewhat eerie image of a giant snake crawling down the temple. For five hours an illusion of light and shadow creates seven triangles on the side of the staircase starting at the top and inching its way down until it connects the top platform with the giant stone head of the feathered serpent at the bottom. For 45 minutes this impressive shadow stays in its entirety before slowing descending the pyramid and disappearing along with the crowd that gathered to see it.The Pyramid of Kukulcan or Kukulkan (also known as El Castillo, a name given by the Spanish Conquistadors) is the centre of Chich’en Itza, it was built over a preexisting temple between 800 and 900 CE. It is the biggest pyramid in Chich’en Itza; at its base 53.3 meters wide on all four sides. It towers above the other monuments at 24 meters tall with a 6-meter temple on top of the highest platform. Before access to the throne room of the pyramid was restricted, you could climb to the top and, on a clear day, see the top of the grand pyramid at the nearby ruin site of Ek Balam.
  • Mounds A and B
mound Two mounds that are noticable becuase of the amount of fine pottery that is mixed in with the dirt covering the mounds. In the same style done in Teotihuacan.
  • Tomb II, Mound E-II-3
tomb A burial of the Late Preclassic culture at Kaminaljuyu, the first and oldest royal burial found from the Preclassic Period. Consists of several superimposed temple platforms, each a flat-topped, stepped pyramid fronted by a broad stairway. Almost certainly the temples themselves were thatched-roof affairs supported by upright timbers. Within, skeletal remains of sacrifices, both adults and children, accompanied by the illustrious dead, together with offerings of an astonishing richness and profusion. Over 300 objects of beautiful workmanship were placed with the bodies. Among those recovered were the remains of a mask or head-dress of jade plaques, jade flares which once adorned the earlobes of the honored dead, bowls carved from chlorite-schist engraves with scroll designs, and little carved bottles of soapstone adn fuchsite. Pottery vessels, stingray spines, and other objects were also within the tomb.
  • Temple of the inscriptions
  • Maize God Impersonation
The Temple of Inscriptions rests on a 65-ft high stepped pyramid approached by a noble frontal stairway. On the walls of its portico and central chamber, three panels contain a total of 620 hieroglyphs with many dates, the most corresponding to AD 692. The floor of the temple is covered by large stone slabs, some of which covering vaults which are entrances to the interior of the pyramid, where sacrificial skeletons were found. A huge triangular slab at the end of this passage, once removed, revealed the great Funerary Crypt, where Palenque's mighty ruler K'inich Janahb Pakal (Pakal the Great) was found. This temple holds the second longest glyph known in the Mayan world. The glyph tells the history of the site for around 180 years. This is also the place that leads to Pakal's Tomb.
  • Temple of the cross group
temple Cross section of three temples, The temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Foliated Cross. They sit upon temples
  • Pyramid Of the Magician
  • Chaac
Its name comes from a Maya tale of the 19th century, titled the Leyenda del Enano de Uxmal (The Legend of the Uxmal’s Dwarf). According to this legend, a dwarf constructed the pyramid in one night, helped by his mother, a witch. This building is one of the most impressive of Uxmal, measuring about 115 feet in height. It was constructed over the Late and Terminal Classic periods, between AD 600 and 1000, and five constructive phases have been detected. The one visible today is the latest one, built around AD 900-1000. The pyramid, over which the actual temple stands, has a peculiar elliptical form. Two staircases lead to the top of the pyramid. The Eastern staircase, the wider, has a small temple along the way that cut the stairway in half. The second access stair, the Western, faces the Nunnery Quadrangle and is decorated with friezes of the rain god Chaac.
  • Temple 23
temple Temple 23 has scenes on limestone lintels, carved in high relief, typically portray rituals such as a worshipper drawing blood from his tongue in the presence of a priest and Bird-Jaguar standing over a kneeling captive. Another vivid scene, from Temple 23, shows a giant double-headed snake creature from the mouths of which emerge a warrior and the war and rain god Tlaloc, who both tower over a kneeling worshipper, identified as Lady Xok', wife of the Yaxchilan ruler Shield-Jaguar, who sees the monster in a blood-letting induced vision. This scene, as indicated by the glyphs, occurred on 23rd October 681 CE, the accession of Itzamnaaj Bahlam II, 'Shield Jaguar the Great'. Traces of red, greens, and yellows indicate that the panels were once brightly painted. These violent scenes are amongst the earliest to show such graphic episodes of religious life and conquest, although they would later become common in the art of the Toltec and Aztec civilizations.