Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ek Balam: The Art and Pyramid

Ek Balam is a lesser-visited Mayan site not far from Chichen Itza in the middle of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Unlike the stone carvings of other sites, at Ek Balam the excavations have revealed figures formed by stucco and limestone mortar, such as the ones above. If you enlarge the photo, you will see a skull at his belt. This is the view from the top of the main pyramid, looking down on some of the other structures. The horizon shows how flat the Yucatan is.
This is the main doorway to enter the Ek Balam site. Mayans used the pyramid shape rather than a Roman arch to create a doorway larger than the length of the stones they could use as lentils. This is the same architecture used by some of the cycladic stone doorways of Greece, prior to the classical Greek period.
This is a wider view of the figure in the top photo. A roof has been built over these figures on the sides of the pyramid to protect them from rain and erosion.
This is a doorway entrance to the pyramid built about two-thirds of the way up the pyramid. The lower levels of the structures were built in the 700 - 1000 A.D. period, but the upper part of the structures were not built until 1200 -1500.
This dog is hopping down the stairs. What would possess a dog to climb such steep stairs? Perhaps his master was up there and he was keeping him company.
This view down the stairs shows how steep it is to walk up the Mayan pyramids. In the future we will show the giant pyramid of Chichen Itza and other Mayan sites, including Tulum and Uxmal.

8 comments:

brattcat said...

amazing shots. that dog is well camouflaged. that work is so intricate, that descent is sooo steep.

glenda said...

Interesting and beautiful! I find these sites so great to visit and learn from. The dog climbing the stairs looks like my dog Sitka. The dog adds a great perspective to the size.

Jarart said...

Great pictures here. I am enjoying your travels and your blog.

JM said...

I haven't been at this one. Great photos of an amazing place!

Thérèse said...

Fascinating! Very unusual doorway indeed. ANd the picture with the dog is awesome. Did he catch with you? :-)

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

These are amazing photographs- thank you for sharing them.
Three Rivers Daily Photo

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

It's amazing to think that something so old can still be around.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Phivos Nicolaides said...

It is so fascinating place and so stunning shots!!

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