The Magic of the Cities.

Zen promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity. It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings. When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. ~ John Greer

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Underworld


Temple of The Feathered Serpent
Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archaeological site in the western part of the Mexican state of Morelos. The name Xochicalco may be translated from Nahuatl as "in the (place of the) house of Flowers". The site is located 38 km southwest of Cuernavaca, about 76 miles by road from Mexico City. The site is open to visitors all week, from 10am to 5pm, although access to the observatory is only allowed after noon. The apogee of Xochicalco came after the fall of Teotihuacan and it has been speculated that Xochicalco may have played a part in the fall of the Teotihuacan empire.

The architecture and iconography of Xochicalco show affinities with Teotihuacan, the Maya area, and the Matlatzinca culture of the Toluca Valley.
The main ceremonial center is atop an artificially leveled hill, with remains of residential structures, mostly unexcavated, on long terraces covering the slopes. The site was first occupied by 200 BC, but did not develop into an urban center until the Epiclassic period (A.D. 700 - 900). Nearly all the standing architecture at the site was built at this time. At its peak, the city may have had a population of up to 20,000 people.

Of special interest are sculptured reliefs on the sides of some buildings. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent has fine stylized depictions of that deity in a style which includes apparent influences of Teotihuacan and Maya art. It has been speculated that Xochicalco may have had a community of artists from other parts of Mesoamerica.

Other monuments at the site include several other step-pyramid temples, palaces, three ballcourts, sweat-baths, an unusual row of circular altars, and a cave with steps carved down into it. The site also has some free-standing sculptured stelae; others were removed from their original location and are now on display in the INAH museum in Mexico City and at the site museum.

At some point around A.D. 900 the city of Xochicalco was burned and destroyed. Many of the excavated houses and temples have layers of burning and destruction that cover the deposits from the main Epiclassic occupation. Underneath destruction layers, numerous objects were left in place in the houses, indicating that the site was destroyed and abandoned quickly. A small remnant population lived on, however, on the lower slopes of the hill. Later, around A.D. 1200, the site was recolonized by the Nahuatl-speaking Tlahuica peoples, ancestors to the Nahuatl-speaking populations of the modern state of Morelos.

Xochicalco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist destination. The site also has a well-stocked museum, designed by noted Mexican architect Roland Dada. [Wiki]

music+image

New York City and Washington series continue in Sketches of Cities.

Gracias por su visita. / Thanks for visiting, please be sure that I read each and every one of your kind comments and I appreciate them all. Stay tune.

3 comments :

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

fabulous image and great history in your narrative. I have been to Teotihuacan, but not to Xochicalco. I will have to get there some day. Your music was perfect also!

brattcat said...

Amazing image!

徵信社 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
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參觀,Thanks

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