Mayan Ball Court: Science, Religion & Architecture in One

Archaeologists have found the Mayas built structures on top of the ball court at Chichen Itza to observe the equinoxes and solstices. They have determined the sun shines through slit-like openings during the winter solstice when the setting sun touches the horizon. It appears to be one of a kind and coincidentally the Chichen Itza ball court is the largest one found in the Mayan world.

“The fact that the sun rise can be observed behind a structure should be understood in that sense, as reverence to the sun or other star, not necessarily as an observatory in the technical sense,” Estrada-Belli said. The orientation of the structures “emphasized the sacrality of the ritual space.”

First printed by the Associated Press.
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