Run the equator: The Temple of the Seven Dolls

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Temple of the Seven Dolls

Temple of the seven dolls
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Still in Campeche today, uploading pictures from the past days...

We took a day trip from Merida to the ruins at Dzibilchaltun and further on to Progreso. Dzibilchaltun is a less famous and somewhat underwhelming Mayan ruin a few kilometers north of Merida, mainly known for the fact that at the spring equinox (and only on that day), when the sun rises, it shines through one window of the Temple of the Seven Dolls and out through the other. This is yet another proof that although the Mayans didn’t know how to process metals and had apparently no knowledge of the wheel, they did, however, posses deep astronomical knowledge.

The Maya are largely still a mystery people, despite the advances made into understanding their hieroglyphs. Reading any tourist booklet about the Mayans, or the plaques with explications at the ruins will make you realize that the usage attributed to the various buildings and sometimes to entire sites is largely conjectural… Too bad the Spanish burned all those Mayan books…

Progreso… well, there’s not much to see there, except for the very long wharf and the beach. I’m not so much of a beach lover so I wasn’t impressed; besides, by the time we got there I was dead tired because of all the heat. We just had lunch (as usual the food was very good), and headed to our smoldering “home” in Merida.

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