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Chichén Itzá (Mexico)


Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico

Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico

Karl S.

Chichén Itzá is a large Maya and Toltec village and temple complex on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. The earliest occupations there probably date to the Late Formative period; but the site really took off about the 8th century AD, when the Maya built the first of the stone structures and began to use the Sacred Cenote (well). During Chichén's heyday, about AD 900-1150, there is evidence for Toltec control (or at least a close relationship with them). Chichén Itzá's architecture includes pyramids, an astronomical observatory, platforms, wells, ball courts, and plazas; residential areas were by and large built of poles, plaster and thatch.

Archaeologists connected with Chichén Itzá include A.P. Maudsley, Karl Ruppert, Susan Kepecs, A.M. Tozzer, Clemency Chase Coggins, and Anthony Aveni.


For more detailed information, take the walking tour of Chichén Itzá.

This glossary entry is part of the Guide to the Maya Civilization and the Dictionary of Archaeology.

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