Home Feature Altar-table with war scene found in Chichén Viejo

Altar-table with war scene found in Chichén Viejo

by Magali Alvarez
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A few days before the opening of Chichen Viejo to the public, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) continues with the promotion of the archaeological site highlighting the discovery of a table-altar of at least 15 linear meters that represents a war scene.

During the morning conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the head of INAH, Diego Prieto, presented a video highlighting the findings in the area also identified as Initial Series from the implementation of the Archaeological Zones Improvement Program (PROMEZA) derived from the construction works of the Maya Train.

The audiovisual material made a tour of the main attractions of Chichén Viejo: the entrance arch with clear archaeoastronomical orientations, the figure of the turtle whose head points to the main temple, which encloses the figure of a chac mool, the Complex of the Phalluses, the Temple of the Owls and the House of the Snails.

In this last complex, a room was found inside that collapsed due to the collapse of the vaulted ceiling. The space sheltered the remains of an altar from which it was possible to recover at least 15 linear meters of decoration that originally belonged to the upper façade of the building.

This altar is a decorative mosaic with representations of birds, human and vegetal characters.

The four slabs of the set form a table-altar that shows 17 captive characters, tied and supported by a main character that holds them. Another part of the decoration shows 16 seated characters.

“An evocation of war, registration and memory”, highlighted the INAH.

The institute detailed that Chichén Viejo is an approach to the architectural and symbolic world of the ancient Mayas, where it will be possible to appreciate the vast and sophisticated iconography that speaks of a rituality linked to the origin.

For example, in the Complex of the Phalluses, where these forms predominate and in addition, it is possible to appreciate pawahtunes or ‘bearers of the sky’ who offer their blood or carry vessels with offerings.

Or the Temple of the Owls, whose frieze highlights the decoration with human figures disguised as birds carrying sacrificial ropes and ritual objects and whose pillars are recreated with cocoa trees covered with flowers and jewels.

The INAH detailed that in the Gallery of the Monkeys appears the figure of a gentleman identified as 10 dog or 10 coyote that carries a celestial band whose guides finish off in a serpent head.

This overflow of symbols is also present in the House of the Snails, which is a majestic space whose roof rests on two figures of Atlanteans holding a frieze originally painted representing vegetable guides, covered with flowers and birds in allusion to the flowering of life.

Chichén Viejo also has a Mayan cistern that confirms the hydraulic knowledge present in the planning of the city.

At 800 meters from the Grupo de las Monjas, in the perimeter of the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, Serie Inicial is a display of the engineering and cosmovision of the ancient Maya.

The INAH recalled that the area currently open to the public represents a minimum percentage of the great city of Chichén Itzá and thanks to Promeza it will be possible to see the only building in which it has deciphered a complete date: July 26, 878, which is engraved on the lintel that gives its name to the group.

TYT Newsroom

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