Many of these causeways were built along celestial and planetary alignments, as were the pyramids themselves. Analysis of the patterns of these features may allow us to extrapolate promising locations for future exploration.
The major cities in the Yucatan could only exist because of the sacbe' ob, the straight white limestone causeways that connected them to each other, and as importantly, to their agricultural production areas. The soil in the jungle is usually not more than 10 centimeters deep, and slash and burnt fields can support only two crops of corn, so transport of crops to the cities was essential. These causeways were up to 36 meters across and level for hundreds of miles to a few centimeters. They represent more engineering effort than that of the pyramids themselves. Why such size and precision exceeding the apparent need? Can maps be obtained or produced of these sacbe' ob?
Do aerial photos of Tulum show that it is built in the pattern of the constellation "the big dipper?" The Gizeh pyramids are built in the pattern of Orion's belt, the Notre Dame cathedrals in the pattern of Virgo, and certain features in Somerset in the shape of Canus Major.
Southern Oregon University, Fall 1997
My goal in this independent study is to evaluate the maps of the site which have been produced to date, and to produce something superior which will be immediately accessible and useful to visitors to the site, a self-guided tour map.
The site of Chichen is administered jointly by INAH (National Institute for Archaeology and History) and Cultur (Services such a park maintenance and tourist services). The INAH head office is in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Dr. Peter Schmidt S.
Director del Proyecto Chichen Itza
Merida, Yucatan tel 91(99) 25-13-66
tel 91 (99) 44-49-46/ 44-00-43 (two phone lines for the whole building)
Self guided tour and map
Disseminating results of this research
Three thousand people visit Chichen Itza each day, and many times more than that on the Equinoxes and Solstices, when the Templo de Kulkulcan (Castillo) exhibits the seven-stepped shadows on the snake-motif stairways. The Templo is a calendar memorialized in stone, by which the Mayans were able to track precisely the 26,000 year precession of the equinoxes. Specifically, fifteen days before the day halfway between equinox and solstice, we seen nine shadows. As the Equinox precesses, this date and shadow are slowly shifting.
Are Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza in an alignment?
The Maya "Rosetta Stone"
What are the priorities of archaeologic mapping?
A kind response to my line of enquiry:
You may also request the publication lists and information about the
existence of Yucatan project maps from:
The Maya Rosetta Stone: It's already been found. It was created by Antonio Gaspar Chi in the 16th Century at Izamal at the behest of Bishop Diego de Landa. It was used by Yuri Knorosov to initiate the breaking of the Maya code in the early '50s and extended by Linda Schele, Peter Mathews, and Floyd Lounsbury in 1972 to get full readings of extended Maya texts. A full and beautiful account is given in Michael Coe's "Breaking the Maya Code". A must read. Still available.
Alignment of Tulum & Coba? Well, since Coba was a Classic Era city and Tulum most definitely a late Post-classic city, their alignment is highly speculative, particularly since Coba made a point of connecting their allied cities with major sacbeob.
Astronomical alignment of Maya architecture? highly likely. A careful reading of David Freidel's and Linda Schele's "Maya Cosmos" is mandatory. Also the works of Tony Aveni on Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy.