Amazingly the Mayan people built almost ten times the amount of pyramids as the Egyptians did. They were careful to align their pyramids with cycles of the sun, moon and stars. They put observatories and temples at the tops of these structures. They were superb astronomers and mathmeticians who calculated the age of the universe, age of the earth, predicted eclipes and solar events and even calculated the length of one year to as close a decimal point as today’s modern atomic clock.
So how did this advanced civilization not invent the wheel?? Perhaps they didn’t need it and were able to move large stones with a knowledge that we don’t possess anymore. Every year more and more ruins and structures are being discovered in the regions once inhabited and controlled by the Mayans. They were extremely prolific builders on a grand scale. One look at Chichen Itza and it makes one wonder just how did they accomplish this fantastic engineering feat? Some of they blocks used in the constructions weigh several tons so how did they move and manuever these? Modern archeology is still grappling with this question. Now, to say that they didn’t have the wheel is not entirely correct. If we look at their calendar we see that it is a wheel within a wheel within a wheel so they were aware of the concept I think. Yet they never used it as a means of transport. At least this is what archeologists are telling us. So just how then did they do it? Some people believe they had help from aliens. I find this a little hard to accept since my question is why would they? But then where did they gain the knowledge needed for the math and geometry? And how did they pick their locations? Was it random or was there a special reason or design for each location.
The ruins located at Tulum I can see being there as it was a major port city so this location makes sense. Who wouldn’t want to live on the beach in paradise? But other sites the clues are not so obvious. I’ve been told by guides when we have been exploring some sites that they choose where they built if there was a water source nearby. This is a reasonable idea since man cannot live without water. There is a large lake by Coba. And at Chichen Itza there is a water source nearby as well so this theory does seem to hold water. (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist!) The Mayans were obsessed with astronomy and the passage of time. They needed to observe the stars without interference from the jungle canopy. Could this be the reason why they built so many pyramids? So they would have a better view of the sky? Surely it can’t be that simple! Yet standing at the top of the pyramid at Coba one does have a clear and unobstructed view of the entire sky. It kind of makes me wonder….. Of course they didn’t just build pyramids. There are ball courts and observatories and palacial houses also. There are temples, markets, and even bath houses. But these constructions are dwarfed by the pyramids. Even a small site like Muyil (located south of Tulum) has a pyramid.
So were the pyramids essential for the Maya to interact with their gods? We may never uncover the true reasons for their constructions or true purposes but there are tantalizing clues which modern archeologists are starting to unravel. Hopefully someday soon the mysteries of the Mayan pyramids will be revealed but until then just visit them and be amazed.