Mexico 2005: Chichén Itzá
Our second day trip out of Mérida was to the late Maya site of Chichén Itzá. This time we went with a professional driver/guide.
From the Eyewitness Travel Guide for Mexico: "Despite being the best preserved Maya site on the peninsula, Chichén Itzá confounds the archaeologists. The date of first settlement in the older, southern part of the site is uncertain, but the northern section was built during a renaissance in the 11th century AD. Similarities with Tula, and myths that tell how exiled Toltec god-king Quetzalcoatl (Kukulcan) settled at Chichén Itzá, suggest that the renaissance was due to a Toltec invasion. However, other theories hold that Tula was influenced by the Maya, not vice versa. In its heyday as a commercial, religious, and military center, which lasted until about the 13th century, Chichén Itzá supported over 35,000 people."
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