Hey, it’s 2012! The world is supposed to end in 6 month, isn’t it? Maybe all those apocalypse theorists should visit the sources of their so-called predictions.
When I visited the Tulum Mayan ruins/Xelha river there was supposedly 156 days until the “end of the world.” A lot of people are missing out on the small but important fact that the Mayans were not predicting an apocalypse but the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
Here is a collection of my best photos from my excursion to the Tulum ruins, as promised.
A little cloudy but if you love history like me, nothing can ruin a trip to… ruins…
The conquistadors were looking for gold? Well this is obsidian. It looks like gold in the sun and the Mayans traded the Aztecs for it.
The Mayans were pretty advanced in astronomy. That little arch was directly in front of the sun every Winter Solstice and they even had a seat to observe it from.
Close up of the “sun-arch.” Reminds me of Stonehenge a bit.
Overview of the temple. I’m pretty sure this is where they performed ritual sacrifices. A little skin-crawly, I know.
The main temple. Visitors used to be able to climb up to top until people started vandalizing it by taking away pieces of rock and writing graffiti. To those people, you suck. I wanted to climb it.
A reproduction of the Mayan writing system. That’s a very complicated way to state when someone’s birthday was.
The doors were intentionally made slanted for architectural purposes.
I think this was a living structure as opposed to a temple. Imagine living here, huh?
Some more ruins. I don’t quite remember what this structure was for.
The back of the temple. Amazing how the structure has held up for thousands of years.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt a little claustrophobic while walking through this tiny tunnel. The Mayans must have been incredibly short.
Shot of some ruins on top of the cliff. The view from the top of the cliff to the ocean was incredible.
Close up of the “bricks.” I can’t imagine how they got those rocks to fit perfectly to stand all these years. I think the little bit of cement is from restoration.
One of many arches. They really liked these things.
If this building was actually used by people, once again I must say they must have been tiny. How could you even fit?
Beach and rocks. Oh, and there’s my cousin in the corner.
Ok, so I didn’t take this one, my brother did with his nice camera and it’s one of my most photogenic photos so I had to include it.
I was a bit bummed that Chichen-Itza was too far for the trip to be worth it for my mom to pay for but if I were to go to Mexico again, visiting all the ruins would be on my to-do list. I love history, and at one point in time, no matter how brief and how young I was (14) I wanted to be an anthropologist. I love studying cultures, especially religion and how cultures from across oceans manage to have some of the same traditions. Isn’t it weird how both ancient Egyptians and Latin American natives built pyramids to honor their deceased? Mayan art (like in the writing system sample) even resembled Egyptian art in that they only painted profiles and never front-on faces.
If you ever have a chance to visit the Tulum ruins yourself, I definitely recommend it. History is not useless, and don’t listen to those people who tell you it is. Understanding history is crucial to understanding human beings and how we act as collectively as cultures and as individuals.