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Ancient Observatories: Chichén Itzá
Live from Chichén Itzá: The Descent of the Serpent (Webcast)
Date: March 21, 2005
Running Time: 02:03:07

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Join us in our celebration of the spring equinox—the day and night are of equal length and the sun is at its sunrise midpoint along the horizon. Like many ancient cultures, the Maya in Southern Mexico kept the positions of the sun in mind while building their great buildings. A beautiful example is displayed at a site called Chichén Itzá, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Thousands of people will gather to witness the appearance of a shadow, in the form of a serpent, that will descend the main staircase of the great pyramid. The Live@Exploratorium was there to capture the snake as it appears and to speak with local archaeologists, archeoastronomers, and solar scientists about this amazing alignment, the Mayan cosmology behind it, and what the sun means to us today.
On a limestone plateau in the northern region of the Yucatan peninsula lie the relics of Chichén Itzá, once one of the most powerful cities of the Maya. Ruins of the temples of this ancient civilization spread from the jungles of Guatemala to the Yucatan. Today, Chichén Itzá attracts thousands of visitors who come to marvel at the spectacular remains.

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02:03:07
Live from Chichén Itzá: The Descent of the Serpent (Webcast)
3/21/2005   
Celebrate the spring equinox at the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, in the state of Yucatan, Mexi ...

Archive

02:03:07
Live from Chichén Itzá: The Descent of the Serpent (Webcast)
3/21/2005   
Celebrate the spring equinox at the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá, in the state of Yucatan, Mexi ...