Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Expedition Yucatan (part 2)

6/ 18 DAY 3
It wasn't just an excuse not to go out with the waiter, we really did go to Dzibichaltun! For those of you still wondering how to pronounce that, (dzē-bēl"chäl-tOOn') is the pronunciation I found :)
And now for my disclaimer: I had to make an anthropology journal while on the trip which included extensive research (pre trip and on trip) about every archaeological site we visited, so in my blog, I will NOT be including much from research; instead, I'll keep it more journal-style. If you'd like to know more about any site, I recommend Michael Coe's The Maya and using Google searches to gain more information.

I admit, I did not swim in this cenote. But pretty much everyone else did! I'm sure it was great, but eh, not for me. Instead, I walked around further back into the site. I actually got to climb up a few different pieces, the most interesting of which was probably the ball court where Maya used to play (think El Dorado if you've ever seen that animated movie). The winner would get the grand prize of.... (wait for it...) ...being sacrificed to the gods! Yeah, not a game I would want to win. Along with pottery, human remains were found in this cenote as well, and it's believed to be a place where people were sacrificed.

I believe this was also the day (if not it was day 4) that we had lunch in the port town of Progresso at a nice little place right on the beach. Afterward, some people swam. Again, I did not. But I did walk the beach and get a little wet. Overall, it was a very busy but also a very nice day.

6/ 19 DAY 4

I got eaten by mosquitoes at Dzibichaltun the previous day, so I did not have a peaceful night's sleep. Cassie, one of the girls on the trip, counted over 50 bites on my legs alone while sitting on the next bed. Needless to say, I was very itchy. But day 4 was busy, like the entire trip. We went to the town of Mani and visited the church where Diego de Landa burned thousands of Mayan artifacts ("idols" and codices) and even Mayan people. The Catholic church here was built around the cenote; "convert or no water for you" was the message of the day. (Again, feel free to Google this. There's a lot of interesting information about Mani!)
After visiting the church, we were off to Loltun Cave where Mayan people lived in prehistoric times. Ricardo, our guide, was very nice and offered quite a bit of information. What I found most interesting personally was the hand prints on the wall from around 1500 BC (I think I got the date right, but my notes are in my anthropology journal with my professor to be graded). There is a picture with some hand prints in it to the right, so hopefully you can make them out. There are two near the middle, kind of one right above the other. I know it's not the best picture, but I was in a cave, so good enough!!

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